Contemplating Humanity – December 26, 2019

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

Contemplating Humanity


Daily Devotion – December 26, 2019

Devotion based on John 1:14

See series: Devotions

If you spend any amount of time on social media or television these days, it might soon strike you that we seem to have lost our sense of humanity. As a human race, we no longer seem capable of treating each other humanely—with patience, kindness, and respect. We show contempt to all who disagree with us. There appears to be no room in this cultural climate for polite discussion, let alone considerate and thoughtful debate. We have lost sight of what it means to be human.

The account of the Garden of Eden has much to teach us about ourselves. The first lesson is that we humans are creatures, responsible to our Creator. As one pastor said: “To be human means to be in this world, to live in dependence upon God, to be humane to each other—in other words, to be servants rather than lords.” But we could define Adam and Eve’s first sin as refusing to be merely human and wanting to be like God. To this day their descendants still struggle to appreciate what it truly means to be human. It is a gift of God that we have too often despised.

But the holy Child born in Bethlehem calls us to contemplate our humanity. The eternal Son of God took on our human nature. And he exemplified, in every way, what humans were created to be in the first place. Jesus walked among us in this world as a brother, understanding our human weaknesses and needs, and making them his own. He displayed genuine love for all people and humble obedience to his heavenly Father. And when the time came for him to lay down his life as a sacrifice for the sins of the rest of humanity, Jesus went willingly to his death on the cross.

Our human race would have no hope of surviving the final judgment if God had not come to live among us. But Jesus Christ has redeemed us by acting as our substitute. Now the truth of his incarnation and resurrection forces us to reconsider the way we look at our fellow human beings. In his love, God has not only created them but sent his Son to redeem them, along with us.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, let me learn from you to love 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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Pondering Christmas – December 25, 2019

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19

Pondering Christmas


Daily Devotion – December 25, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 2:19

See series: Devotions

It has often seemed to me that Christmas Day has a different feeling than the weeks leading up to it. Throughout the previous month, the whole world had joined in a collaborative effort to create an atmosphere of otherworldliness. Decorations, lights, and family traditions combine to create a feeling of nostalgia, perhaps a longing to restore something that was lost. Sometimes even Christians can become distracted, allowing Christmas Eve to be more about maintaining old traditions than reveling in the news brought by the angel.

But by Christmas Day, the world has moved on from the fantasy that it had conjured. Next week, stores will stock their Valentine’s Day cards and reduce their TVs to Super Bowl Sunday prices.

Let’s not do that. No longer caught up in the countdown to Christmas, we can sit quietly in a corner of the Bethlehem stable for a few moments more.

By the end of that first Christmas Day, Mary and Joseph had experienced their own flurry of activity. First, the birth of the Child himself, truly a Miracle Baby, the Son of God in human flesh. Then the shepherds running breathlessly into the room, with their excited descriptions of angelic choirs and heavenly glory. And when these visitors finally returned to their flocks, shouting out praises along the way, the young family may or may not have had time to themselves. But Luke tells us that “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

What have you taken away from your time with the Word during this Christmas celebration? Were you struck by the unexpectedness of the almighty God coming to take on our human condition? Did you take time to consider your sins, for which the Christ child came to die, and repent of them? Did you reflect on how God’s gift of his Son is exactly the gift you need today and every day? May Jesus be your heart’s treasure all year round!

Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 38)
Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Prepare a bed, soft, undefiled
Within my heart, made clean and new,
A quiet chamber kept for you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Celebrating Christmas – December 24, 2019

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:10,11

Celebrating Christmas


Daily Devotion – December 24, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 2:10,11

See series: Devotions

All across the world today and tomorrow, people are gathering together to celebrate Christmas. Which means yesterday all across the world, preachers were preparing their Christmas messages. Neither pastors nor worshipers have a particularly difficult job because Christmas is both easy to preach and a joy to celebrate.

I suppose that if a preacher wanted to get creative, he could go for many years without repeating his Christmas message. The account of what happened 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem offers many different topics to speak about. One might choose to focus on Mary or Joseph and their roles in the nativity, or on the humble conditions in which Jesus was born, or the appearance of the angels, or the evangelism efforts of the shepherds, or the star in the sky.

But when I say that Christmas is easy to preach, I’m not talking about the variety of topics available. And when I say that Christmas is a joy to celebrate, it’s not because of all the parties, good food, and getting together with family and friends. As wonderful as those things are, there’s only one detail in the nativity scene that’s worth preaching and celebrating year after year for centuries all around the world. When the angel appeared to the shepherds, shining with the glory of God, he didn’t say, “Fear not. For you will eat cookies and drink eggnog for many years to come.” Nor did he say, “Fear not. For there are some nice people who just had a cute baby boy. You should totally give your mom a call.” No, it was so much more than that. The angel proclaimed: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

The message of the birth of our Savior will only grow stale when we have no more sin left to forgive. The joy of Christmas will only fade when we take our eyes off Jesus, who left heaven to save us from death and hell.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, my only Savior, my heart rejoices as it remembers again the good news of your coming to save 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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Naming a Child – December 23, 2019

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:21

Naming a Child


Daily Devotion – December 23, 2019

Devotion based on Matthew 1:21

See series: Devotions

In some cultures, parents put off naming a child for weeks or months after birth. Superstitions and high infant mortality rates lead parents to avoid inviting “bad luck” by naming the baby too soon. In other cultures, the family waits years to see signs of the child’s personality before giving them a permanent name.

But months before he was born, a name had already been chosen for the virgin Mary’s son. An angel from heaven announced it first to Mary and later again to her husband, Joseph. There would be no doubt about his future. The child was destined to die, but not for some time. And there was no doubt about what sort of man he would grow up to be. “You are to give him the name Jesus,” said the angel, “because he will save his people from their sins.”

Unlike Jesus, the perfect Son of God, you and I came into this world with the burden of a sinful nature. And that sinful nature displays itself in all kinds of ugly ways—beginning already in our childhood and lasting all through life. We bring pain on ourselves and others through our selfishness and greed, immoral desires and behaviors, hurtful talk and actions, and so much worse. Our life is full of struggles; our death is unavoidable, and then we will face God’s holy judgment. The human race is a people in desperate need of a Savior.

How comforting to know that the child whose birth we celebrate on Christmas came into this world to be our Savior! His very name means “the Lord saves!” If there was no doubt about his future accomplishments before he was even born, how much more confident can we be now that he has lived, died, and risen again from death! All through his life, Jesus was our Savior, living a sinless life as our substitute. And in his death, Jesus was our Savior, paying the debt that we owed God for our disobedience. Jesus has lived up to his name. The Lord God himself has saved us from our sins.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, what a joy to know your name and to know that you have saved me!

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 Special Christmas Gift – December 22, 2019

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. . . . “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Matthew 1:21,23

A Special Christmas Gift


Daily Devotion – December 22, 2019

Devotion based on Matthew 1:21,23

See series: Devotions

It will be Christmas Eve soon. On that wonderful night, the presents will be carefully and lovingly wrapped in shiny paper and placed under the Christmas tree. After enjoying Christmas Eve worship, we will follow our family tradition and open our presents. We’ll take turns, from youngest to oldest. That means I’ll go last, but that’s okay.

All-day long I know exactly what question will be going through the minds of each of my three daughters: “What will I get for Christmas?” Honestly, I’m wondering, too.

With the eyes of faith, peek into Bethlehem’s manger. God has something for you, and it’s special. It won’t break or wear out. It won’t go out of style. It’ll never disappoint you or let you down.

Your gift has special names: Immanuel, which means God with us, and Jesus, which means Savior.

God’s gift is his most prized possession, his Son. Immanuel came to earth to be your brother, putting on human flesh and blood and subjecting himself to obey the Law of God (which you and I have failed miserably to do). And more than that, Immanuel is Jesus, who came to wipe our sins away and save us from God’s righteous anger against our sin by dying on the cross and then rising from the dead.

What will you get for Christmas? You’ll find out during your Christmas gift opening. Then again, you already know what you’ve got, Jesus!

Merry Christmas!

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I can’t thank you enough for giving me the gift of Jesus. Help me praise you for your generous love both with my lips and my life. I pray in the name of Immanuel, 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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Patience in Jesus Pays – December 21, 2019

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming . . . Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
James 5:7,10,11

Patience in Jesus Pays


Daily Devotion – December 21, 2019

Devotion based on James 5:7,10,11

See series: Devotions

“Be patient!” Children are not the only ones who sigh and groan at the sound of those words. At a young age, we are taught to expect things instantly. Our news, food, and sometimes even money are all delivered to us instantly. Even this devotion is right at your fingertips. We are conditioned to be anything but patient.

James encourages Christians of every age to be patient. We might want to know why Jesus has not yet returned or why he is running the world the way he is. Why is he not running my life the way I want him to? I want answers and I want them now. It is so easy for us to forget to be patient and to simply trust in the Lord. It is our trust in him that he wants the most.

Be patient. When Job was patient, God brought about a life of peace and abundance. He will do the same for you. In fact, he will give you more—an eternity of peace and abundance. The God who is filled with compassion and mercy gave you Jesus. Jesus patiently endured the cross for all of our sinful impatience. Now, in Jesus, we have the promise of an eternity with God. Patience in Jesus pays.

Prayer:
Lord, give me patience and trust in you. Help me to keep my eyes joyfully fixed on Jesus until he brings me to be with him in heaven. 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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Answer to Doubt – December 20, 2019

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see.”
Matthew 11:2-4

Answer to Doubt


Daily Devotion – December 20, 2019

Devotion based on Matthew 11:2-4

See series: Devotions

Do you ever have doubts about Christianity? Have you ever wondered if God really loves you? Do you ever think that you’re wasting your time being a follower of Jesus?

You are not alone. Even John the Baptist had his doubts. He had baptized many and preached to many more. But now he was in prison for speaking the truth and he had doubts. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you really the promised Savior?” If someone like John the Baptist had doubts about Jesus, what hope is there for you?

The hope is in what Jesus said and did. Jesus pointed John to the message he proclaimed and the deeds he performed. The Old Testament prophets promised that when the Messiah came, he would do exactly what Jesus was doing. In other words, performing miracles and preaching the good news were signs that said, “This man is the one who is to come; he is the Savior!”

When John the Baptist doubted, Jesus pointed to the signs that showed he was the Messiah. When you doubt, you can look at those same signs. You don’t need to fix your doubts about God by yourself. You are not on your own.

In the Bible, you have eyewitness testimony about what Jesus said and did. You see how his preaching and miracles fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. You can look at his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead and see Jesus do exactly what the prophets predicted. Jesus became a man to die and rise for you.

All of these signs point you to the fact that Jesus is the one who came to rescue you from sin and death. And you, along with John the Baptist, have the certain testimony that Jesus is the answer to your doubts.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, dispel my doubts by 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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Be Patient – December 19, 2019

[B]e patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
James 5:8

Be Patient


Daily Devotion – December 19, 2019

Devotion based on James 5:8

See series: Devotions

If you ask a bunch of children what the hardest part of December is, what would they tell you? It’s waiting for Christmas. Waiting to open Christmas presents. With every fiber of their being, they wait for those gifts. They even scour the closets and attic to look for what they’re getting. And what do their parents tell them? “Be patient.”

Today, our Bible reading from the letter of James says the same thing. The Christians to whom James originally sent his letter were persecuted, poor, and exploited. Suffering characterized their lives. But they knew that it would not characterize their eternal life. So, they waited for Jesus’ return and looked forward to the end of their suffering.

But they didn’t just wait; they waited impatiently as children wait for Christmas. That’s why James told them to be patient. There’s nothing wrong with excitement for the Last Day, but we have to be patient because God’s timetable is different than ours.

We too need to remember this because we are also waiting on God. The Last Day is coming, whether we are waiting for it or not, whether we are thinking about it or not.

This passage from James is a good reminder for us to think about and prepare ourselves for Jesus’ return. It is a good reminder that Jesus’ return is something to look forward to. Because he promises on that day he will give eternal happiness to all of those who trust in him as their Savior from sin.

No wonder we are often impatient for Jesus to return and deliver us from this world of pain, persecution, and problems. When this happens, just remember today’s words from James: “Be patient.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, help me to appreciate and anticipate your coming on the Last Day. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Miracles – December 18, 2019

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Isaiah 35:5,6

Miracles


Daily Devotion – December 18, 2019

Devotion based on Isaiah 35:5,6

See series: Devotions

Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, God told his people what to expect when Jesus would come. The Savior would open blind eyes so that they could see. He would unstop deaf ears so that they could hear. He would heal crippled legs and make the mute speak. In other words, once the Savior came, everything would change!

But if that’s the case, why is life so hard? Why do you get sick? Why do people still die in slow, painful ways? If Jesus has truly come and he truly is powerful, then where are all the miracles? How come there are so many blind, deaf, crippled, and mute people? If Jesus really is a miracle-worker, how come he isn’t working miracles today?

Remember that Jesus’ miracles were signs. A sign points to something greater than itself. Jesus’ miraculous signs proved that he is the almighty Son of God, the one Being with the power to stop evil. His miracles demonstrate that power. People had to know that God was with them to stop evil at its source. Jesus did not come to provide health care; he came to bring ultimate healing. Sickness and death need to be stopped at its source or it will continue to happen. The source of evil is sin.

God’s solution to sin is astounding, and even the Bible admits that it is foolishness to those who do not believe (1 Corinthians 1:18). To forgive sin the Son of God became a man and lived perfectly. By his death, Christ destroys the power of sin and death. Forgiveness is a far greater miracle than making the deaf hear or the lame leap because forgiveness requires the life and death of Jesus.

Moreover, Jesus promises his followers perfect health when he raises them up on the Last Day. He will transform their lowly body so that it will be like his glorious body (Philippians 3:21). That miracle is certain because he speaks a greater miracle to you right now: All your sins are forgiven.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for your greatest miracle: my 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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Do not Fear – December 17, 2019

“Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Isaiah 35:4

Do not Fear


Daily Devotion – December 17, 2019

Devotion based on Isaiah 35:4

See series: Devotions

When a man comes with vengeance, it’s pretty much a given that someone will die. When a hero comes with retribution, it’s pretty much a given that the bad guys will pay for what they’ve done. Because when the hero comes with vengeance and retribution, he comes as an unstoppable juggernaut of retaliation.

But what happens when God comes with vengeance? What happens when the retribution isn’t human, it’s divine? You heard what the prophet said: God will come with vengeance and divine retribution. God is the original, unstoppable, almighty juggernaut. The bad guys don’t stand a chance.

But who are the bad guys? God is not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with him the wicked cannot dwell (Psalm 5:4). That means sinners are the bad guys. Sinners like you and me.

In our verse for today, God threatens judgment. Why would he do such a thing? You’re on his side, aren’t you? Not when you sin. Sin means that you are on your side. And, you cannot hide it.

But with God, things are not always what they seem. When God comes with vengeance and retribution, he doesn’t take your life, he saves it. Listen again to what he says: “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come … to save you.” Your Savior Jesus fulfills these words. Christ comes with vengeance into a world destroyed by sin, a world full of people bound by sin, and he rains down holy retaliation on that sin! But not in the way you would expect.

When Jesus died on the cross, he destroyed the bad guy. But the bad guy wasn’t you. It was sin. Jesus took your infirmities and carried your sorrows to the cross, and by his wounds you are healed (Isaiah 53:4,5). That’s why you do not need to fear God’s wrath. All of God’s vengeance and all of his retribution for every sin fell on Jesus, not on you.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, thank you for enduring divine retribution for my sins. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Faith During Devastation – December 16, 2019

“The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
Job 1:21

Faith During Devastation


Daily Devotion – December 16, 2019

Devotion based on Job 1:21

See series: Devotions

Job was one of the richest men in history. He had thousands of sheep, oxen, donkeys, and camels. He was blessed with seven sons and three daughters. And, best of all, he had tremendous faith in the LORD. Life was very good for Job, until the day when four disasters left him devastated.

It started when a messenger informed him that raiders had stolen all of his oxen and donkeys. Before that report was over, a second messenger arrived to say that fire from the sky had burned up all of his sheep. While he was still speaking, a third messenger came with news that bandits had carried off all of his camels. Before he could finish, a fourth messenger told Job that all of his children were killed when a building collapsed on them.

In grief, Job tore his clothing, shaved his head, and fell to the ground. And this is where you expect Job to curse God. Could you blame him? Whenever life takes a devastating turn, cursing the God who governs life seems like the natural thing to do.

Yet instead of cursing God, Job praised him: “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” Only a believer can praise God when trouble comes and it seems like God and his love are gone. Job did not praise God for the loss of his riches and children, but for the blessing God had given to him in his riches and children.

When you endure times when you cannot see God’s love, Job’s response is a necessary reminder that your faith is not based on your health, wealth, and feelings. As Job said, those things come and go. Instead, your faith is fixed on the LORD and his promises that everything he gives is good. It is certain that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Prayer:
Lord God, whether you give or take away, help me to always praise 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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God Always Keeps His Promises – December 15, 2019

Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
Genesis 21:1-7

God Always Keeps His Promises


Daily Devotion – December 15, 2019

Devotion based on Genesis 21:1-7

See series: Devotions

What an incredible event! A son was born to Sarah when she was well past child-bearing age. Just as he had done with his son Ishmael, Abraham circumcised his son Isaac, setting him apart from other people as a member of the covenant God had made with Abraham.

Sarah’s laughter is pure joy. And she understands Isaac’s name, which means “laughter.” “Who would have thought?” Sarah muses to herself, in awe of God’s grace, power, and faithfulness.

God is faithful; he always keeps his promises—even if they are too incredible for us to understand. He fulfilled his Word of sending his own Son to pay for our sins, and he has promised that on the Last Day, he will raise the dead and take his believers to live with him forever in heaven. We have a gracious, powerful, and faithful God. He will fulfill his promises. He always does.

Prayer:
Faithful God, forgive me when I fail to trust you in all things. Strengthen my hope and confidence through your Word which will never fail. 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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Sharing Joy – December 14, 2019

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Sharing Joy


Daily Devotion – December 14, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 15:13

See series: Devotions

Anna Mary Robertson was an old woman who had a hard life. She was the third of ten children born to a farmer in the 1860’s. Life on a farm in the 1800s meant hours of manual toil, day after day.

In 1887, Anna married a farmer and the hard work continued. As the years went on, she experienced the unspeakable grief of a mother watching her child die in infancy. Anna, however, went through this not just once, but five times.

Then her husband died from a heart attack. By the time she reached her 70’s, arthritis was taking over her body. She was no longer able to do the things she used to do. It was then that Anna Mary Robertson picked up a brush and began to paint.

She never had any formal training. Nevertheless, her pictures radiated something that everyday people and art critics alike could not resist. They radiated something we might not expect. Her pictures radiated joy.

This is how Anna Mary Robertson Moses—Grandma Moses—got her start as an artist. She picked up her brush and shared her joy. And she kept right on sharing her joy until the age of 101.

Not all of us may experience as difficult a life as Grandma Moses. But we all know that life is often filled with pain, disappointment, and grief. And we know the guilt of all the wrongs we have committed. The guilt and grief of life can rob us of any joy we might hope to have.

But that’s why Jesus came. He came to rescue us from our sins and promise us an eternal life in the heavenly home he is preparing. We have every reason to rejoice.

So, while we may not be able to paint like Grandma Moses, we can share our joy by telling others the story of what Jesus has done for us. Let’s do just that until we are called home to him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, in those moments when life is hard, remind me of the joy I have in you and your promises. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Laugh – December 13, 2019

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
Acts 3:19

The Laugh


Daily Devotion – December 13, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 3:19

See series: Devotions

If you’re a Star Trek fan, you know Patrick Stewart as the captain of the USS Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Beyond that, however, Patrick Stewart is a gifted Shakespearean actor with a great love for British literature. In 1999, Stewart created a film version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Many consider it one of the best versions ever made.

Towards the end of the film, there is one especially poignant scene. Ebenezer Scrooge, in his bed, has just awakened. His encounters with the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future are now all behind him. At first, he’s still terrified that his soul is lost as a result of what he now sees as his empty, self-absorbed life. However, soon he realizes not only that he is still alive, but that it is Christmas morning. It dawns on him that he has just received a gift to celebrate Christmas, a gift that frees him from the shackles of his past wrongs, a gift to live an entirely new life.

And then it happens. In that moment when he realizes that all is forgiven and he now has a life before him that is fresh and clean and new, he begins to laugh. It is a laugh, the likes of which he has never laughed. It is not just a laugh of relief. It is a laugh of resurrection and restoration. It is a laugh of pure, simple joy.

This is why the Lord calls us to repentance. Does he want us to look upon our sins with sincere sorrow? Yes. But that is not where it ends. Rather, he longs for our repentant hearts to bask in the full forgiveness that Jesus Christ has purchased for us at the cross. He wants to refresh us in lives that are free and cleansed and clean.

In other words, he wants us to laugh the laugh that only the good news about Jesus can bring.

Prayer:
Refresh me, Lord Jesus, in the full forgiveness I have in you. Amen.

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

In those days John the Baptist came, . . . saying, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Matthew 3:1,2

Turn


Daily Devotion – December 12, 2019

Devotion based on Matthew 3:1,2

See series: Devotions

In 2008, a caravan of tourists in Utah decided to take the scenic route through a national park. The people in the lead vehicle entered the address of their destination into their GPS and everyone else followed. Over the next several hours, the roads became narrower, rockier, and steeper. The turns became sharper. But not to worry. The GPS told them that they were on the right track. This continued until they reached the edge of a sheer cliff. Now they began to panic. They could not go forward, and they could not find their way back. They stayed there all night. Finally, a search plane discovered where they were and a rescue party came to take them home. Think of the grief they could have avoided if only one person would have said, “This is no good. It’s time to turn around.”

You and I have such a person. His name is John the Baptist.

John the Baptist was quite a sight to see. He lived in the desert. For clothing, he wore camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist. For food, he ate locusts and wild honey. And so powerful was his message that crowds of people came out of their cities, towns, and comfortable homes just to hear him preach.

And the message he proclaimed was “Repent.”

To repent means to turn from sin and look to Jesus for forgiveness. But understand this key point. We don’t turn around to God in order to make God turn around to us. Rather, we can turn around because God is already facing us, already holding his arms out to hold us, already waiting to announce that our sins have been forgiven—paid for on the cross by Jesus.

With what sins are you struggling? Whatever they are, let the knowledge of God’s love and forgiveness cause you to turn from them and turn to him.

Prayer:
Lord, use the assurance of your forgiveness to turn me from my sin to 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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Encouraged by the Past – December 11, 2019

[E]verything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Romans 15:4

Encouraged by the Past


Daily Devotion – December 11, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 15:4

See series: Devotions

One of the most popular history teachers working today is Professor Gary Gallagher. He is so popular with his college students that even his 8 A.M. classes are full. Although they could skip class and simply get the notes from someone later, students show up, even after being out late the night before. They simply don’t want to miss Professor Gallagher’s lectures. Why? Well, as one admirer says, “He makes history come alive.” As a result, students realize that people and events from the past have a great deal to teach us.

This reality is all the more true when it comes to your relationship with God. On the pages of the Bible, the Holy Spirit has chosen to record real events in the real lives of real people. The stories are compelling and dramatic. The stories are true.

These stories are not meant to merely entertain us. They are meant to teach us. In the lives of people who lived long ago, we see ourselves. We see them committing the same sins we commit. We see them suffering the same things we suffer.

But, even more importantly, we see how God loved and cared for those people. We see how he rescued and kept his promises to those people. We see how willing he was to forgive those people. And, when we see this, we are encouraged. It reminds us that the same God loves, cares, rescues, forgives, and keeps his promises to us.

He can do this because of the Savior he sent, the one we know as Jesus. He is the same savior those people in the Bible looked to for forgiveness. Isn’t it marvelous? Isn’t it encouraging?

So, go ahead and open that Bible on your coffee table or on your app. Read again the stories found there. And let God’s goodness to those who have gone before encourage you as you look forward to your future.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, teach me through your Word. Fill me with endurance, encouragement, and certainty about my future. 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 Disease of Pride – December 10, 2019

[P]raise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Daniel 4:37

The Disease of Pride


Daily Devotion – December 10, 2019

Devotion based on Daniel 4:37

See series: Devotions

The great British writer, G.K. Chesterton, lived his life in the early years of the 20th Century. He was a happy bear of a man. He always had an easy smile, a ready laugh, and an exuberant personality. As a Christian, however, there was one subject he never failed to take seriously. If there was a single sermon he could preach, he once wrote, it would be against the sin of pride.

When a fiery prohibitionist demanded that Chesterton take “The Pledge” to abstain from alcoholic beverages, Chesterton had a ready answer. He would swear off drinking, he said, when the temperance reformer swore off the sins of pride. Then he ended with this. “The wickedest work in this world is symbolized not by a wine glass but by a looking-glass.”

Chesterton was not alone. Shakespeare said, “He that is proud eats up himself.” CS Lewis said, “Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” And Martin Luther wryly observed that pride “is truly a disease that mocks all doctors…[for it] is a diabolical temptation in the spirit which is not [even] felt.” Luther was right. The disease of pride is so pervasive in us that we often don’t even know it’s there.

This is where the Lord steps in. In love, he does what is necessary in our lives to highlight the disease. He helps us to see it because he knows that as long as we are proud, we cannot see our need for Jesus. And without Jesus, we are lost.

May God do whatever is necessary to reveal and destroy the pride in our hearts so that we look less and less at ourselves and more and more at Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord, destroy the disease of pride in my heart so that I see you more clearly. 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 Stump – December 9, 2019

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
Isaiah 11:1

The Stump


Daily Devotion – December 9, 2019

Devotion based on Isaiah 11:1

See series: Devotions

There was once a mighty tree, strong and wide and beautiful and tall. It was the kind of tree that looked as if it could withstand any trouble, any wind, or any storm.

But then something went wrong. The mighty tree grew weak. The leaves withered. Bugs infested the bark. Finally, one day, that once-mighty tree fell. Someone hauled the wood away. And there, where that giant tree had once stood, all that was left was a stump.

This is the image God used to explain what had happened to his Old Testament people, Israel. He had chosen them to be his own special people. He had blessed them. He had made them into a mighty nation. But they failed to appreciate all he had done. They went their own way rather than his way. Even their kings who ought to have led them toward God, led them instead away from God. So, God allowed Israel’s enemies to overtake them. What had once been a strong, proud people was now nothing more than a stump.

But, in the midst of this misery God gave his people a promise. Out of the stump of Israel, a strong shoot would arise. The shoot’s name was Jesus Christ.

Isaiah’s prophecy promised that the shoot named Jesus would bear fruit. And what remarkable fruit he bears! He gives spiritual life to sinfully dead people like us by forgiving our sins and reuniting us to our heavenly Father.

This time of year, as you prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas, marvel that your good God kept the promise he made through the prophet Isaiah. Be thankful that he did not give up on his people and leave them a worthless stump. Take comfort in knowing that he used them to send the world a Savior—your Savior.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for keeping your promise to send the world a Savior. Comfort me this day knowing that he is 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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The Power of Hope – December 8, 2019

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

The Power of Hope


Daily Devotion – December 8, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 15:13

See series: Devotions

It may not strike us as humane today, but many years ago an experiment took place. Researchers placed a set of rats in a large tub of water. Then they placed a second set of rats in another large tub of water. In the first tub, they left the rats alone. But in the second tub, they reached in and pulled one of the rats out of the water for a few moments from time to time and then put it back. The results were dramatic. While the first set of rats quickly gave up swimming and were ready to give in to drowning, the second set of rats kept right on swimming for hours. The reason was clear. The second set of rats had hope. The first set did not.

Have there been times in your life when you’ve felt as hopeless as a laboratory rat swimming around in a tub of water? Sin does that—your sin and mine. It pulls us into bad places from which we cannot escape. It isolates and surrounds us in despair. It makes life look dark and bleak.

But God did not abandon us to swim in the vat of our sins until we could swim no more. In fact, he did far more than pull us out from time to time to give us some desperate sense of hope. Instead, he became one of us. Through his life and death on our behalf, Jesus removed our sins forever. As he did, he destroyed the despair that our sin brings and replaced it with hope as God defines it—a sure, confident certainty based upon what Jesus Christ has already done.

And so there it is. Regardless of what is happening in your life, you are walking on the solid ground of your Savior’s promises. And through faith in him, you possess the sure hope that your journey ends in victory.

Prayer:
Dear Savior, forgive me for all the times I have given in to hopelessness and despair. Wash my sins away. By your Spirit, refresh my eyes to see the sure hope I possess in you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Time to Wake Up – December 7, 2019

The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber.
Romans 13:11

Time to Wake Up


Daily Devotion – December 7, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 13:11

See series: Devotions

Morrie Schwartz was a relatively unknown college professor for most of his life. Then he contracted ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He agreed to an interview on television to talk candidly about his condition and his impending death. That television appearance caught the attention of a former student of Morrie’s, a sportswriter from Detroit by the name of Mitch Albom. Albom looked up his old professor and rekindled their friendship. He began stopping by to see Morrie every Tuesday. Later, he turned their visits into a book, Tuesdays with Morrie. It became a national bestseller.

The attraction of Albom’s book lies in Morrie’s many observations on life. One of those observations is this: “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things.”

Living, yet having a meaningless life. Chasing after things that seem important but are wrong. Busy while half-asleep. Is this you? Is this your life? Is this what you’ve become?

Before you answer those questions, just remember: In this world, you and I stand surrounded by all kinds of things that are trying to put us to sleep. In all honesty, you and I must confess there have been times when we’ve fallen asleep and drifted away from what truly matters. Perhaps one of those times is right now.

If so, then the Lord has something to say to you from Romans chapter 13. He says, “The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber.” It’s time to repent. It’s time to recognize the horror of sleepwalking through life, ignoring the only Savior we have, and look to Jesus. It’s time to be washed in his forgiveness purchased at Calvary’s cross and be refreshed in his Spirit. It’s time to wake up and live again!

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, forgive me for the times I have fallen asleep and drifted away. Refresh me. Revive me. Empower me to live my life in you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Live Securely – December 6, 2019

[Jesus said] “Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
Matthew 24:42-44

Live Securely


Daily Devotion – December 6, 2019

Devotion based on Matthew 24:42-44

See series: Devotions

In my childhood home, we had locks on the doors, bars on windows, a night watchman, two guard dogs, and a six-foot fence around our property. Even with all that security, thieves snuck in during the middle of the night, broke the kitchen window, and grabbed whatever was in the sink.

With the security we had then we were not able to prevent the break-in. Perhaps now, with the advances in security systems, we could. However, Jesus says that there’s one break-in that no security will ever prevent: his return.

Should that scare you? Not if you stay alert. Not if you keep watching for his return. When you wake up, when you lie down, when you go about your daily life, keep your eyes on Jesus. He came once when no one was watching to live, die, and rise again. He came to fulfill God’s law for you. He died to pay the price for your guilt. He rose again because he had fully paid for your sins.

Let his love for you cause you to repent and return to the Lord because no one knows when he will come again. It could be at any moment. So, keep watch for his coming. This doesn’t mean that you should stop living your life here and now. It does mean that whether our hands are busy with work or play, our hearts are yearning for heaven.

Thieves don’t make appointments. Neither does Jesus. He came once in grace to save. He’s coming again in glory to judge. So, keep watch, keep in the Word, and keep working while it is day.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I am eager for your arrival. Keep me aware for your coming. 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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Welcome Him – December 5, 2019

[Jesus said] “About that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”
Matthew 24:36-41

Welcome Him


Daily Devotion – December 5, 2019

Devotion based on Matthew 24:36-41

See series: Devotions

Near the end of the first Iraq War, Air Force pilot Robby Robbins received permission to fly home. He flew across the Atlantic, landed on United States soil, and drove all night to his Pennsylvania home. His arrival was supposed to be a surprise. But when he pulled into his driveway just after sunrise, Robbins saw a large banner hanging across the garage. The sign read, “Welcome Home, Dad!”

Robbins walked into the house. His children, half-ready for school, greeted him with squeals. His wife came running down the hall—hair done, make-up on, wearing a fresh yellow dress.

“How did you know?” Robbins asked.

“I didn’t. We kept listening to the news. When we saw that the war was almost over, we knew you’d be home soon. We knew you would want to surprise us, so we were ready every day.”

When Jesus returns, he won’t be crossing the sea or driving across the country. Swiftly and suddenly, he will sweep aside the heavens and snatch up his family to reunite with them in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever.

Jesus is coming! We don’t know when that will be, but we want to be prepared every day. Like Noah, we trust the good news of God’s rescue plan. As we rely on the perfection of Jesus, repent of our sins, and rejoice in his forgiveness, we will be ready to welcome him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I don’t know when you will come but comfort me with the knowledge that you will take me to heaven to be with you forever. 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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Wake Up – December 4, 2019

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Romans 13:11-14

Wake Up


Daily Devotion – December 4, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 13:11-14

See series: Devotions

How many hours of sleep do you get in a day? Do you get the recommended eight? Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ and author of this letter to the Christians in Rome, contended that we may sleep more than we realize.

He was referring to spiritual sleep. Like a leaf in a river, it is easy to be carried along wherever life takes us, to go through the motions of our daily routine, jumping from activity to activity. We are living but we aren’t really awake. We are not aware of who we are or what our purpose is. When this happens, we are not living our faith intentionally. We are just going through the motions.

Paul encourages us to wake up, to rejoice that Jesus has rescued us from the sins that separated us from him. He encourages us to dress ourselves in the armor of light, ready to reflect the love of Jesus and to serve our neighbor’s good.

Do this today. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow may be too late because Jesus has promised he will return to judge the living and the dead. So, let’s not be spiritually asleep when he does. Rather, let’s be wide awake and ready!

Prayer:
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus, I want to walk as a child of the light. 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 Prepared – December 3, 2019

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. . . . Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you.”
Genesis 6 and 7 (selected verses)

Be Prepared


Daily Devotion – December 3, 2019

Devotion based on Genesis 6 and 7 (selected verses)

See series: Devotions

It is two minutes to midnight.

According to a group of scientists, global catastrophe is two minutes away. Because of this, people are preparing themselves and their loved ones for the end of the world as we know it. They build bunkers. They stockpile food and munitions. When asked why one survivalist says: “You can’t always rely on the government or society to help you.”

According to the Bible, in Noah’s day, a world-wide flood was 120 years away. God named corruption, violence, and wickedness as the reasons why he was putting an end to all people. Because of this, Noah prepared himself and his family for the end of the world as they knew it. He built a boat to God’s specifications that carried his family and all kinds of animals above the waters for an entire year. Although Noah warned people of what was to come, they refused to heed his warning and were shocked when the flood swept them away.

Jesus compared the day this world will end to the day the great flood arrived. According to Jesus, no one knows when the end will come.

Are you prepared?. No bunker or boat will save you. But you can rely on God’s covenant promise. Whoever believes and is baptized in Jesus’ name will be saved. He died for our wickedness and was raised back to life to prove he had made us right with God. Rest in the ark of Jesus. He will save you from the destruction of that day and deliver you to an eternal home in heaven.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, rescue me for I rest in you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Peace that Prevails – December 2, 2019

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. . . . He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.”
Isaiah 2:3-5

Peace that Prevails


Daily Devotion – December 2, 2019

Devotion based on Isaiah 2:3-5

See series: Devotions

In 2008, Mexico City native Pedro Reyes melted down 1,527 weapons to make the same number of shovels to be used for planting trees in the community. The guns Reyes used represent a fraction of the weapons Mexican authorities seize every day. He called his project, “Palas por Pistolas,” or “Pistols to Shovels.”

Twenty-seven hundred years ago, the prophet Isaiah foresaw the day when nations “will beat their swords into plowshares.” Sadly, in spite of efforts such as “Pistols to shovels,” this day has not yet come. We still have no peace and little patience with one another. Despite our best efforts and intentions, we just can’t manufacture the peace we dream of. Sin in the world and our hearts make peace impossible for us.

But not for God. He set up a peace that prevails when he climbed Mount Calvary to hang on a cross. Jesus endured the injustice of people so he could justify people before God. All who trust in him have forgiveness for all their sins, peace with God, and the promise of an eternal end to all their earthly suffering.

When Jesus comes again, he will set right, once and forever, all that is broken. Everyone who believes in him will see this peace realized. He will remove all sin and hatred from our hearts and clothe us in his glorious goodness.

Do you want this lasting peace? Do you want a peace that quiets every guilty conscience? Then climb Mount Calvary by faith and find refuge under the cross. Do you want a peace that no diagnosis, disaster, or death can dissolve? Then walk in the light of the Lord, and he will direct your eyes to the day when he will craft the weapons of death into instruments of life.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when I am anxious about anything, guard my heart and mind with your peace in every way. 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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