A Different Kind of King – January 7, 2020

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
Matthew 2:3

A Different Kind of King


Daily Devotion – January 7, 2020

Devotion based on Matthew 2:3

See series: Devotions

Herod the Great ruled the region of Judea from 37 B.C. to 4 B.C. He is known for his many great building projects, including his massive expansion of the temple complex in Jerusalem. He was also famously jealous and paranoid. Whenever he suspected that someone was becoming a threat to his power, he wasted no time in having that person killed. Victims of his murderous paranoia included his brother-in-law, mother-in-law, wife, and three of his sons.

So, it is no wonder that when Herod heard that some new King of the Jews had been born, he was disturbed. It also is no wonder that all Jerusalem was troubled right along with him. The people of Jerusalem knew what Herod was capable of. They knew that news of the birth of some supposed rival to Herod’s throne could not mean anything good.

Neither Herod nor the people of Jerusalem had any reason to be disturbed, however. The one who was born King of the Jews posed no threat to Herod’s rule over Judea. In fact, this newborn king had no designs at all on holding any sort of earthly authority. He was a King, to be sure. But he was a different kind of king than Herod was. Herod was an earthly king ruling an earthly kingdom. Jesus, the king whom the Magi were seeking, was a heavenly King ruling a heavenly kingdom.

Jesus’s kingdom does not occupy any territory that you can locate on a map. Rather, his kingdom is his rule in the hearts of his people through faith. His kingdom is established in a person’s heart when the Holy Spirit, working through the good news of Jesus, leads that person to trust in Jesus as their Savior. And Jesus’ kingdom spreads, not through military conquest, but as more and more people hear the good news of Jesus and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, also come to trust in Jesus as their Savior.

Jesus’ kingdom has extended to you also, as God the Holy Spirit has led you to trust in Jesus as your Savior. Through faith in Jesus, you are a member of his kingdom and a citizen of heaven.

Prayer:
King Jesus, reign always in my heart through 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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Born King of All – January 6, 2020

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Matthew 2:1,2

Born King of All


Daily Devotion – January 6, 2020

Devotion based on Matthew 2:1,2

See series: Devotions

Elizabeth II is the queen of the United Kingdom and the countries in its Commonwealth. Therefore, if you are a citizen of one of those countries, Elizabeth II is your queen. However, if you’re not a citizen of one of those countries, she’s not your queen.

When the Magi came to Jerusalem, they were looking for Jesus, “the one who has been born king of the Jews.” The Bible doesn’t tell us what nationality the Magi were. But since they came from “the east” (perhaps from Persia or Arabia), people have always assumed that they were not Jewish. So, why did these non-Jewish Magi travel so far to worship this king of the Jews?

The answer lies in the fact that while Jesus was indeed born king of the Jews, his kingdom was not limited only to the Jews. Jesus also came to be the King and Savior of all people, regardless of their nationality. The citizens of his kingdom were all those from every nation on earth who trusted in him as their Savior.

The Magi recognized this about Jesus. They recognized that even though they were not Jews, the one who was born king of the Jews was also born to be their King. He was born to be their Savior. They trusted that the forgiveness of sins that this king of the Jews would win was also for them. They knew that through faith in him, they too were citizens of his kingdom, regardless of their nationality.

Jesus also was born to be your king. It doesn’t matter who your ancestors were. It doesn’t matter what earthly citizenship you now hold. If you are a member of the human race, then King Jesus was born for you. He was born to be your Savior. The forgiveness he came to win he also won for you. Through faith in him, you are a citizen of his kingdom, for he was born King of all.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I praise you that you came to be the King of all people, including me. Amen.

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

Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ.
Ephesians 3:8

A Painful Memory Can be a Blessing


Daily Devotion – January 5, 2020

Devotion based on Ephesians 3:8

See series: Devotions

Have you ever had a memory from your past that’s so painful you close your eyes and cringe whenever you think about it? For some, such memories are so powerful that they fill themselves with anything to deaden the hurt: alcohol, pills, pleasure, TV, mindless busyness. Do you have such a memory? Perhaps something from your past is haunting you right now.

If so, sit down for a moment next to the apostle Paul. It seems that Paul grappled with the same thing. In spite of all that the Lord did through Paul’s amazing ministry, Paul still considered himself “the least of all God’s people.” Let’s be clear: Paul did not say this just so he could appear gracious or humble before his readers. Elsewhere in his writings, Paul said the same thing. And he also explained why. You see, through the years Paul had never shaken the searing memories of what he had done before becoming a Christian. For that reason, the reality of his own sinfulness never left his side.

But there was the beauty that because Paul was now forgiven in Christ, even his painful memories were a blessing. Whenever they haunted him, they also served to highlight God’s grace in Paul’s life. It was God’s undeserved love for a sinner like Paul that continually filled him with gratitude and peace. And it was this gratitude and peace that helped inspire Paul to follow his Lord for the rest of his life.

Do you have a memory from your past that can sometimes paralyze you with pain and regret? Join the club. But consider what else that memory does. In Christ, that memory spotlights the Lord’s grace, his undeserved love, in your life. In him, you are forgiven. In him, you possess a peace that no bad memory can ever take away.

Remember that as you begin this new year. And thank your Lord that he can turn even your painful memory into a blessing.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, forgive me for the times I have allowed painful memories to prevent me from seeing you. Use my painful memories to remind me of your grace in my life. 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 Time for Jesus – January 4, 2020

When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son.
Galatians 4:4

The Time for Jesus


Daily Devotion – January 4, 2020

Devotion based on Galatians 4:4

See series: Devotions

What a mess things were at the time of Jesus’ birth! The Jewish people in Palestine had to live under the iron fist of Herod the Great, a cruel king who had actually put his own sons to death to retain his power. And the tyranny did not stop there.

Beyond Herod was the boot of the Roman Empire, known for its willingness to crucify thousands at one time in the name of keeping order. Then there were religious factions in the Jewish leadership—from the Pharisees, who were all about retaining religious laws and traditions of their people, to the Sadducees, who wanted to do what was necessary to get along with the Romans. There was a wide disparity between the upper, middle, and lower classes of Jewish society—a disparity that was ongoing and a disparity that created its own tension.

Finally, over the years a terrible distortion developed over what the promised Messiah was supposed to do. Many assumed he was supposed to bring political and social change. Few seemed to understand their need for a Savior from sin.

But in spite of the mess, brutality, unrest, ignorance, cynicism, and trouble, God chose this moment in time to send his Son. He did so because he determined that the time had come.

As it was 2,000 years ago, so it is this moment. The time for Jesus is now. In spite of what is dominating the headlines, in spite of the noise, in spite of what is demanding your attention in your personal world, the time for Jesus is now. The time is now to come to him in repentance and to bask in the forgiveness he purchased at Calvary’s cross. The time is now to tell others what you have heard and seen about the Savior God sent for us when the time had fully come.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming into the mess of this world in order to save it. Thank you for coming into the mess of this world 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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An Amazing Inheritance – January 3, 2020

[S]ince you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
Galatians 4:7

An Amazing Inheritance


Daily Devotion – January 3, 2020

Devotion based on Galatians 4:7

See series: Devotions

I was adopted into my family. My brother was born naturally into it. I am the executor of my parents’ estate, so I have seen their will. It’s split evenly between the children. I am receiving the same inheritance that my natural-born brother is receiving. Isn’t that remarkable?

As remarkable as my inheritance from my parents is, the inheritance Christians receive is far more remarkable. The Bible says that although Jesus is God’s natural born Son while Christians are adopted sons and daughters, they still receive a wonderful inheritance.

What will that inheritance include? It starts with the forgiveness of our sins. This was purchased not with gold or silver, but with the holy, precious blood of Jesus in his innocent suffering and death. Everyone connected to Jesus by faith receives that forgiveness, more precious than any earthly inheritance.

Our spiritual inheritance continues with resurrection from the dead. Our actual souls and our actual bodies, separated at death, will come together again. The disciples saw it happen with Jesus, and they realized that it would also happen to them. Our bodies will be glorified, ageless, unable to die. It’s an amazing inheritance.

And that inheritance continues with heaven. That’s where the Son of God lives, and that’s where we will live eternally with him. We can look forward to an eternal existence without sorrow or pain, in the company of all those have been adopted into God’s family. Jesus, our brother, is preparing our place for us right now.

Prayer:
Lord God, thank you for making me your child. I delight in your inheritance, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the 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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Child of God – January 2, 2020

“Abba, Father.”
Galatians 4:6

Child of God


Daily Devotion – January 2, 2020

Devotion based on Galatians 4:6

See series: Devotions

It’s amazing how quickly and deeply children become attached to their parents. Mothers and fathers carry out their roles, and children learn to depend on them for nourishment, comfort, support, and boundaries. When children have stable parents, emotional bonds to one another last for a lifetime.

God, our heavenly Father, creates similar emotional bonds in us when he feeds us with his Holy Word and Holy Supper. He comforts us with his promises, and those promises support us when we are weak. He sets boundaries for us, showing us the blessings of keeping his laws, and the curses for breaking them.

Although we do not see him, God sends his Spirit into our hearts, and the emotional bonds to God that the Spirit creates in us last a lifetime.

It’s also amazing how children learn language from their parents. Parents speak, and children imitate the sounds. If bilingual parents speak both languages, their children grow up bilingual. You can often hear the speech patterns of parents in children’s speech even after the children move away.

The Holy Spirit teaches us the speech patterns of God, our Heavenly Father. We learn to speak about him and to him in an endearing way. The same way that English-speaking babies say “Dada,” and Galatian babies said “Abba,” we call God our Father in heaven. With these words, God tenderly invites us to believe that he is our true Father and that we are his true children so that we pray to him as boldly and confidently as dear children ask their dear father.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for making me your child through faith in Christ Jesus. Keep me close to you all of my life until I join you in eternal life. 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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Making It Possible – January 1, 2020

God sent his Son . . . that we might receive adoption to sonship.
Galatians 4:4,5

Making It Possible


Daily Devotion – January 1, 2020

Devotion based on Galatians 4:4,5

See series: Devotions

It’s a new year! No matter what happened in the previous year, this new year opens with all kinds of opportunities. People make New Year’s resolutions because it’s a good time for starting over. It feels like anything is possible, right?

And it’s not just a new year that can make us feel excited. New shoes make kids feel like they can run faster and jump higher. A new car has a special feel and smell. New books and movies intrigue us no matter our age.

If a new year or new things are exciting, imagine what it would be like to join a new family. That’s what anyone who has been adopted has experienced. They will tell you that joining a new family by adoption is an adventure. Most children adopted into a family feel like they have been given a new lease on life. A former family had disintegrated, but this new family offers opportunities and possibilities. Being adopted into a family offers security and love.

But no family offers more security and more love than God’s family. Sadly, none of us has the authority or ability to join God’s family. Thankfully, God does have the authority and ability to adopt us into his family. This is why he sent his Son, Jesus, into the world, to make all of the arrangements necessary for us to be adopted into his family. Jesus earned forgiveness for us, declaring himself to be our brother. He did everything to make it possible for us to be adopted into the family of God.

When someone is baptized, and the name of the only true God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is pronounced over them, God is writing that name on them and claiming them as his own. They get his family name, and God promises that all of the privileges of being a family member come along with faith in Jesus.

And when you are in God’s family, all kinds of wonderful things are possible.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me enough to send Jesus to do everything necessary for me to be adopted into your family. 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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Just in Time – December 31, 2019

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son.
Galatians 4:4

Just in Time


Daily Devotion – December 31, 2019

Devotion based on Galatians 4:4

See series: Devotions

Forty years ago, just-in-time manufacturing changed everything in the auto industry. There was less inventory and quicker production times, delighting both managers and customers. When it was done well, just the right part was available at just the right time, every time.

Two thousand years ago, a just-in-time event changed everything in the world. For thousands of years, God had promised a Savior. The people who believed his promise awaited the day when it would be fulfilled. In times of both injustice and despair, they cried out to the Lord, “How long? How long will it be until you keep your promise?”

Then, at the set time, God kept his promise. The Son of God took on human flesh. He became fully human yet was without sin. He came to earth to do the will of his Father.

It was the perfect time in human history. Everything was in place for Jesus to do exactly what his Father wanted him to do. And what was that? Jesus came to bear the sins of the world, earning forgiveness for you.

On the last day of the calendar year, you can look back and see how some things have gone well, and other things—well, probably not so well. But when you look back on what Jesus has done for you, you will see only perfection, because Jesus came at just the right time. And as you look forward to the new year, Jesus will be with you, supplying you with whatever you need, just in time.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for the blessings of the past year. Give me the confidence to face the new year with your forgiveness there for me at just the right time, every time. 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 Did Your Job – December 30, 2019

God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law.
Galatians 4:4,5

Jesus Did Your Job


Daily Devotion – December 30, 2019

Devotion based on Galatians 4:4,5

See series: Devotions

It’s nice to have a job that gives you some holiday time off between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s just pleasant not to have to get up at a certain time in the morning, get yourself to work, and follow someone else’s routine. And isn’t it especially nice when a co-worker volunteers to take a shift for you to give you a little time off?

As you celebrated the birth of Jesus last week, did you think about why he came to earth? He didn’t have to do it. He had enjoyed existence from eternity without a human body, but he chose to humble himself and take a human body anyway, arriving not as an adult, but as an infant.

Just as amazingly, he chose to put himself under the law. That means that he had to be perfect in every way—every thought, every word, every action. Just one slip-up, and he would not be able to serve as our Savior.

But he is called Jesus, which means “Savior,” because he did it. He kept the law perfectly, refraining as a true human being from doing or even thinking anything wrong. Then, instead of taking the reward of heaven that he deserved for living that perfect life, he took the punishment of hell that you deserved for living an imperfect life and declared that his perfect life would be your ticket to heaven.

Through faith in Jesus, you have that perfect life credited to your spiritual account. You are redeemed from hell and death, and you are promised forgiveness of your sins and eternal life.

Someone else has done your job, and he wants you to get credit for it. Join other Christians and thank him. Stop worrying, take a deep breath, and get some rest.

Prayer:
Lord God, thank you for sending your Son to become a human being and live under the law in my place. I will rest my soul in him. 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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Perfect Timing – December 29, 2019

When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
Galatians 4:4-7

Perfect Timing


Daily Devotion – December 29, 2019

Devotion based on Galatians 4:4-7

See series: Devotions

There is something soothing about watching sand sift through the waist of an hourglass. It is mesmerizing. In our Bible passage for today, the apostle Paul tells us that when Jesus was born, the last grains of sand in God’s celestial hourglass had fallen from the top chamber and filled the bottom one. In other words, Jesus came at precisely the right time. We can be certain because it was the time that God in his wisdom had chosen since the beginning of time. The One who fulfilled the hopes and dreams of God’s people for all those years was born. For centuries God had promised to send a Savior, and when the time had fully come, he sent his one and only Son.

We don’t know for sure why God sent Jesus when he did, but we can be thankful that he did. God’s own Son became human and put himself under the law, to redeem us from all of our sins and failures under God’s law. He did this so we might receive the full rights of sons. Through faith in Christ, we have been brought into God’s family and can now call out to our Father in heaven with words of heartfelt intimacy, “Abba, Father.” God’s timing was perfect, and so was his gift—Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, help me to continually rejoice in your perfect timing in sending your Son into the world. Lead me to continually thank and praise you for your perfect gift and for making me your child. 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 With Us – December 28, 2019

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Matthew 1:23

God With Us


Daily Devotion – December 28, 2019

Devotion based on Matthew 1:23

See series: Devotions

During World War II, a gloom swept over England as Hitler’s Luftwaffe dropped tons of death and destruction upon London. There was a legitimate fear for the safety of King George VI and his family. His staff made secret arrangements to transport the king and his family to safety in Canada for the duration of the war. Despite the urgings of his advisors, George refused to leave his countrymen in their dark hour. In fact, the king inspected a bombed-out section of London after an air raid. While walking through the rubble, an elderly man walked up to King George and said: “You, here, in the midst of this? You are indeed a good king.”

That is what the manger says to us. That God is with us in the ugly part of our lives as well as the good! He does not desert us in the darkest hour of our despair. He is there in the midst of the rubble of our broken dreams and the ruin of our tangled lives. That’s what the gift of Christmas is! GOD IS WITH US. He is with us here. That’s the most important gift we could ever receive.

God is indeed a good king. He is One who came here and lived among us. He not only sympathized with us. He took our pain for us and suffered for our sins. Through our coming King Jesus, God made peace between himself and us.

Matthew 1:23 says: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

That must be the most amazing, incredible, and comforting news there could be. That is the meaning of Christmas.

May the certainty that God is with us, in the midst of this dark world together with us, bring comfort to your soul this Christmas!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I thank you for coming to this world to be with us so that you might save me. When I face dark days, remind me that you are always with 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 Responsible Child – December 27, 2019

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

The Responsible Child


Daily Devotion – December 27, 2019

Devotion based on Isaiah 9:6

See series: Devotions

They say that first-born children often feel a greater weight of responsibility than their younger siblings do. Sometimes parents put extra pressure on the oldest child to succeed without even being aware of what they are doing. The firstborn may also naturally feel that it is their duty to protect or provide for their younger brothers and sisters.

God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, came into this world with the heaviest burden of responsibility ever placed on a child. From the moment of his birth—even from his conception—the pressure was on him to succeed. God the Father had sent him to accomplish what no other person on earth could do: to defeat Satan and rescue humanity from the curse of death. Jesus’ entire life needed to be absent of sin and full of grace and truth. He was born so that the rest of mankind could benefit from his life and death.

Read through any of the four Gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) and you’ll see for yourself that Jesus accomplished all that was prophesied about him in the bible verse above. Everyone who heard him speak marveled at his wisdom and the authority of his teaching. The many miracles he performed showed his mighty power and his divine compassion for all. To look on Jesus was to see the face of his Father in heaven. He displayed genuine love for everyone, even his enemies. Even as they nailed him to a cross, Jesus was heard to be praying, “Father, forgive them.” His death on that cross was the sacrifice that won forgiveness of sins and true spiritual peace for all.

The holy Child placed in the manger by his mother Mary was born for you. He came to take the weight of your sin and guilt upon himself. And he has defeated your enemies—sin, death, and the devil. Now he reigns forever at the right hand of the Father. Turn to him daily; put your life in his hands. He will not let you down.

Prayer:
Christ Jesus, you alone fulfilled the Father’s will. I trust in you for my salvation. Amen.

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