Go and Tell – April 30, 2022

The high priest and all his associates . . . arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.” At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people . . . “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” the high priest said . . . Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!”
Acts 5:17-21,28,29

Go and Tell

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 30, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 5:17-21,28,29

See series: Devotions

“Go…and tell,” the angel told the apostles. That’s the Easter imperative—the Easter command. Jesus is alive! He’s risen from the dead. He has conquered death. Go and tell.

There is a part of us called the sinful nature that says, “Don’t go and tell.” Some people warn us that we should never talk about politics and religion. Sometimes, as in the Bible reading for today, even the authorities of the world forbid us to speak about the risen Christ. But through his angel messengers, God told the apostles, “Go…and tell.”

So why would we go and tell? We do it out of love for the Lord who told us to do so. But there is also another reason.

We live in a world where people are dying spiritually and eternally, and we have the only real antidote for death. Through faith in the risen Jesus, we can and will live eternally. In the risen Jesus, we have the prescription to living joyfully forever! Love for others will move us to go and tell them.

Yes, there will be some who will reject that truth, deny that possibility, and suggest that the notion of joyous everlasting life through Jesus and him alone is nothing but foolishness.

But God will bring others to faith, and they will thank you for sharing that life-saving message of the crucified and risen Christ. Then experience the wonder and joy of sharing that message with others. Yes, go and tell.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, you have saved me for a life of joy in heaven with you. Moved by your wondrous love, help me to go and tell others about it, too! Amen.

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

Resurrection Peace – April 29, 2022

Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
John 20:26

Resurrection Peace

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 29, 2022

Devotion based on John 20:26

See series: Devotions

Jesus came and stood among them. Since those disciples had been through so much, Jesus stood among them and gave them peace. Oh, that he would do the same for us.

Wouldn’t it be helpful if Jesus would appear while sitting in the ICU waiting room to assure us that dad is in good hands?

Wouldn’t it be great if Jesus was there at our side in our lonely, quiet moments, when all others have left us or forgotten about us?

Wouldn’t it be beneficial if Jesus was there for us when we’re at our lowest? You know, when we start recalling all our mistakes and the internal guilt is tearing us apart.

We might sometimes think the original disciples had it so easy; Jesus was right there, standing in the same room. But keep in mind, in just a matter of weeks, Jesus would ascend into heaven, and his disciples would no longer have his physical, visible presence to assure them. They would have to rely upon his promises. And those promises are just as comforting and dependable for us today as they were for the disciples then.

Jesus doesn’t suddenly appear to us in our living rooms or medical waiting rooms, but he does offer this solemn pledge: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20) and “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

He doesn’t ring our doorbells and give us a show-and-tell display of his scarred hands every time our consciences act up. Instead, he promises that our sins have been removed from us “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).

He may not put a hand on our shoulders. Instead, he puts his Word in print, and he puts that printed Word, the Bible, into our hands. There in the Bible he promises peace—the peace of sins forgiven, the peace only the living Lord Jesus can give.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when I feel weak or alone, remind me that you are near. When I am pressed by a guilty conscience, remind me that you have already paid for my sins. When I hurt, remind me of your love. Help me to share that same love with others. Amen.

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

Resurrection Proof – April 28, 2022

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
John 20:26,27

Resurrection Proof

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 28, 2022

Devotion based on John 20:26,27

See series: Devotions

Have you ever been channel surfing late at night and come across one of those infomercials with the super energetic spokesperson? After a few minutes, you start thinking, “Maybe I do need one of those salad spinners. After all, they do come in six amazing colors. And I really should eat more salads.” Those infomercial producers know you won’t purchase something on blind faith; you need proof. And if you see that proof—that the product really works—maybe you’ll consider buying theirs. That’s why the spokesperson for the salad spinner is energetic, happy, and in great shape. If you act now, this can all be yours for just $19.99.

The disciples wanted proof. They had seen Jesus die. His body had been taken off the cross and placed into the tomb. The disciples had been shaken. What they didn’t know yet was that Jesus had risen from the grave. He was alive. Jesus, on Easter evening, appeared to those shaken disciples and set their minds and hearts at ease.

But Thomas wasn’t there. So, Jesus appeared to him a week later. He didn’t have to, but our patient Savior reached out to Thomas and gave him what he was looking for: proof. What was unbelievable just a few days ago, wasn’t so far-fetched now that Thomas could see Jesus with his own eyes.

We have doubts, fears, and struggles too. Our patient Savior comes to us with promises that are always reliable. He points us to the cross—proof our sins are forgiven. He points us to the empty tomb—proof that he lives and that the Father has accepted and approved of his payment for sin. He holds out his scarred hands and assures us we have peace with God. No need to act now or make a payment; Jesus already has!

Prayer:
Lord, in my times of doubt, strengthen me with your promises. You died for me. You rose again. You are with me always! Amen.

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

Courageous Witnesses – April 27, 2022

“We must obey God rather than human beings!”
Acts 5:29

Courageous Witnesses

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 27, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 5:29

See series: Devotions

How do you define courage? I’m not looking for a wordy definition you’d find in a dictionary; I’m looking for a practical description of courage. Peter and the other apostles provide that for us in Acts chapter 5. Shortly after Jesus ascended into heaven, the apostles faced fierce opposition. Jesus had commissioned them to be his witnesses. However, the people of power had commanded them to keep quiet. To whom would they listen? To continue preaching and teaching about Jesus would not only be unpopular, it could be deadly.

“We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” the authorities lectured to Peter and the others. You can almost see the apostles dig in their heels and stiffen their backbones as they reply, “We must obey God rather than human beings!” What courage! But from where did it come? Wasn’t Peter the same one who lied about knowing Jesus several weeks earlier? Weren’t these the same apostles who locked themselves into a room after Christ’s death?

Peter and the apostles found courage in the same place we do—in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! You can almost see Jesus dig in his heels and stiffen his backbone as the Roman soldiers crown him with thorns and force a cross onto his shoulders. Resolutely, courageously Jesus faces the mockery, the suffering, and even the cruel crucifixion. Courageously he dies. Victoriously he rises. You will be my witnesses; he says to you and me.

This courageous Jesus carried our sins to the cross; he now asks us to carry his name to the world. Some will thank us for it. Some will urge us to keep quiet. With strength and courage that comes only from Jesus, we can dig in our heels, stiffen our backbones, and continue to preach and teach about Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord, you have told me to be your witness, to share your love with a world full of people who so badly need to learn of you. Give me courage, not in myself but in you. Help me to seize the opportunities to speak of your saving work whenever they arise. Amen.

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

Victoriously Saved for a Purpose – April 26, 2022

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
Revelation 1:5,6

Victoriously Saved for a Purpose

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 26, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 1:5,6

See series: Devotions

In his Small Catechism, after describing the work of Jesus, Martin Luther wrote: “All this he did that I should be his own, and live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he has risen from death and lives and rules eternally.” According to Martin Luther, now that Christ has redeemed and rescued us, we now have the opportunity and the motivation to serve him and live for him.

Martin Luther didn’t come up with that concept. He was repeating what the Lord had already said many times through his holy writers, including the apostle John. After assuring us that Jesus loves us and that he has completely freed us from our sins, John offers a purpose for which we have been rescued. Christ has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father.

I am a priest? That brings up images of a clergyman wearing black, listening to someone’s confession, or presiding over a wedding. Instead, think Old Testament priest. He offered sacrifices to God. He helped others see God’s love and goodness. He prayed for the people.

When John says you are a priest, he is reminding you that you have a very special purpose in life. Your day job might be a nurse, accountant, teacher, or mechanic, but your purpose in life is to help others see God’s love and goodness, to pray for others, and to offer sacrifices to God. And by sacrifices, thinking kind words of others, a helpful hand to someone in need, being patient with a co-worker, living with an attitude of thanksgiving and contentment, and sharing the good news about Jesus when given the opportunity. In all these ways you help others see the goodness of God.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for rescuing me and making me a member of your family. Help me to express my gratitude by the way I live my life—for the good of others and to your glory. Amen.

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

Victoriously Rescued – April 25, 2022

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.
Revelation 1:5

Victoriously Rescued

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 25, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 1:5

See series: Devotions

Can you picture the scene in the old black and white silent movie? The young lady is in obvious distress. Heavy ropes are wrapped around her, securing her to the railroad tracks. In the distance, you can see the train getting closer and closer. This isn’t going to end well. The look on her face expresses helplessness and fear. The train rumbles on, smoke billowing from its chimney as it bears down on the poor woman. Just then, the hero arrives. With a few quick swings of his ax, the ropes are severed, and the young lady is free. The tragedy is averted. The hero smiles.

Can you picture the scene? We are in obvious distress. The heavy ropes of sin are wrapped around us. Every day an honest assessment of our actions, our words, and our attitudes reveals a very tragic scenario. We have fallen short. We haven’t treated others with selfless love—sometimes we do, but not always, as God demands. We haven’t always used our time wisely and honorably. We haven’t always spoken good and godly words. If we don’t get help, things will not end well. What can we do but cry out, “Lord, have mercy on us! Lord, save us!”

Thankfully Jesus, our hero, came to save us. He didn’t use an ax to cut us free. Instead, he shed his own blood. He has freed us! It really happened. Our selfishness, our wrong words, our mistreatment of others—all of it was taken away from us by our hero, Jesus. He died for us. He rose again. We are forgiven. The tragedy is averted. The hero smiles.

Prayer:
Lord, I daily fall short of the demands of your law. I confess that I am sinful; I need you. Point me to the sacrifice you made on the cross and to the empty tomb, from which you rose victoriously. As a freed and forgiven child of God, help me to face today and every day with confidence and a renewed commitment to walk with you. Amen.

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

Jesus Gives Us Peace – April 24, 2022

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
John 20:19,20

Jesus Gives Us Peace

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 24, 2022

Devotion based on John 20:19,20

See series: Devotions

When the disciples were gathered behind locked doors on that first Easter Sunday, they were very afraid. They were afraid for their lives. They truly thought that those who killed Jesus were now going to come after them and kill them, too. The bottom line is that they had no peace, and they lacked a faith that believed Jesus would rise from the dead.

What is it that scares you? Studies show that people are most often scared by spiders, snakes, and other creepy-crawly things. Does that hold true for you as well?

Perhaps you’ve outgrown that fear. Yet as we grow older, we face a new set of fears. Will our health hold up? Will our children be okay when they leave the house? Will we have enough money to support ourselves? All of these “fears” are out of our control. They, too, rob us of peace—which is where faith in Jesus comes in.

Just as the disciples could not control the enemies of Jesus, we can’t control the economy, disease, or people who wish to cause harm. Oh, if only Jesus would appear to us and say, “Peace be with you!”

But don’t be fooled. This “peace” Jesus gives is not intended to make all the bad things in life go away. The peace Jesus gives strengthens us as we endure the many difficult challenges of life. The peace Jesus gives also lifts our eyes from the temporary things of this world to the eternal things of heaven. The peace Jesus gives is the assurance that our sins are forgiven, and we will be in heaven forever with him.

Truly, there is nothing to fear. Cancer, thieves, storms cannot take away the eternal promises Jesus has made to you. Trust in him and his words, and you will have the peace Jesus gives.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, fill me with the peace of knowing you are alive and well, ruling this world on behalf of your people. Amen.

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

The Path of Life – April 23, 2022

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57

The Path of Life

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 23, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

See series: Devotions

A father and his two sons were driving down the road one day when a bee found its way inside the car through an open window. The younger son was terrified of bees. He was allergic and being stung was one of the worst things that could happen to him. When he saw the bee in the car, he started to panic. At once, his older brother trapped the bee between his hands. He held it there for a few moments and then opened up his hands. The bee started buzzing around again, and the younger boy again began to panic. But his older brother said, “Calm down! Don’t be afraid! The bee can’t hurt you anymore. Look at my hand.” And there, in the older brother’s hand, was the stinger.

As you and I travel down the path of life, there’s one thing that terrifies all people by nature–death. You could say we’re all allergic to death. We do whatever we can to avoid it. Yet, because of sin, death is inevitable for all of us. But just like in the story, we have a brother who travels with us. We have a brother who was willing to take the sting of death, the sins of the whole world.

Jesus took the sting of death in our place, and he died on the cross to take away all of those sins. With sins forgiven, with sins removed, death has lost its sting. Jesus says to each one of us, “Don’t be afraid. Death can’t hurt you anymore. Look at my hands, look at my feet. I’ve taken the sting of death for you!” And because of this marvelous truth, death is not a defeat but a victory! Death is now the doorway to life everlasting with Jesus. That is our Easter hope!

Prayer:
Resurrected Lord and Savior, thank you for taking the sting of death for us so that by faith in you we have the sure and certain hope of eternal victory in heaven. Amen.

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

A Victory for Body and Soul – April 22, 2022

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. . . Then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” . . . Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:51,52,54,57

A Victory for Body and Soul

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 22, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 15:51,52,54,57

See series: Devotions

Click. A vulnerable newborn nestled in her mother’s tender embrace. Flash. The infant’s first toothy grin. Click. Baby’s first step. Flash. Child’s first day of school. Click. Teen’s first date. Flash. Woman’s wedding day. Click. First-time mother. Flash. Last time grandmother. Click. Granite headstone and freshly dug earth.

Click. Flash. Click. Flash. The bulb’s flash and the shutter’s click catch the progression of life. But really, it’s the regression of life, isn’t it? The camera captures the newborn so full of promise and potential. But already at life’s first cry, we have begun our journey to life’s final breath.

“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). The sting of death is sin, but two thousand years ago, Jesus bore the curse of sin. The power of sin is the law, but two thousand years ago, Jesus satisfied the law’s demands. When Jesus died, he paid for our sin, fulfilled the law, defeated death, and redeemed not only our souls but our bodies as well.

Because Jesus lives, all who believe in him will live with him forever even if we die. But these mortal, perishable, sin-stung frames aren’t made for eternal life. We need an upgrade. The resurrection of Jesus guarantees that an upgrade is pending. Yes, Jesus fulfilled our salvation two thousand years ago, but one day it will be fulfilled in us.

In a flash at the trumpets’ last blast, Jesus will reverse the poison of sin and remove the effect of death. He will rend every grave and raise all the dead. And all who died trusting in the Lord will be transformed. The old body will become a new body, but it will be your body. Just better. Immortal. Imperishable. Upgraded for eternal life.

Prayer:
Risen Savior, thank you for your victory over sin and death. Amen.

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

Feast of Victory – April 21, 2022

On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
Isaiah 25:6-8

Feast of Victory

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 21, 2022/b>

Devotion based on Isaiah 25:6-8

See series: Devotions

Serhiy Perebyinis opened his social media account to discover, with the rest of the world, that his family had died in Kyiv trying to escape death. “I lost everyone,” he said, “I lost the meaning of life.”

Many in Ukraine may find it hard to celebrate Easter this year. Surrounded by destruction and death, they may not feel much like celebrating.

But God has given a reason to celebrate, even to those shrouded by the world’s worst atrocities. The reason is Easter. Jesus’ resurrection is the death of death. It is the destruction of the devil. It is the deletion of disgrace. For the Lamb who was slain has begun his reign.

Jesus will reign from now till the day of his return. On that victorious day, the dead will rise to live. This new life won’t just offer an escape from everything bad. All who believe in him will experience and enjoy eternal life as God intended. A life that will flood our senses with good things.

No, we have not lost anything, even when everything seems lost. For Jesus lives! And his resurrection guarantees that he can transform even the most painful human occurrence into good for his people.

So, raise a glass and raise the victory cry: “This is our God. We trusted in him, and he saved us! Let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation!” (Isaiah 25:9)

Prayer:
Jesus, take me with you from the grave of sin, doubt, sorrow, and death, and let me share in your victory, life, joy, and glory. Amen.

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

Hidden Victory – April 20, 2022

Suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them . . . [and] said to them. . . . “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
Luke 24:4-6

Hidden Victory

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion -April 20, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 24:4-6

See series: Devotions

A little girl turns around in a department store, expecting to see her daddy. But he’s not there. Panic.

A woman gets up and goes to the kitchen, expecting to see her husband. But he’s not there. Grief.

Friends go to the arena, expecting to see their favorite performer’s last concert. But he’s not there. Disappointment.

A man goes to the courthouse, expecting to confront his attacker. But he’s not there. Anger.

“He is not here.”

Those four words don’t typically evoke positive feelings. But on the morning of Jesus’ resurrection, the angel’s sermon brings joy and hope bubbling to the surface because those four words are followed by one overpowering truth: He is risen, just as he said. Amid all of life’s disappointments, we have a God who keeps his word.

Jesus is not here because he has risen and ascended to God’s right hand. He’s gone to prepare a place for us. But if he’s gone to prepare a place for us, that means he’s coming back.

Until then, we will still be scared, sad, disappointed, and angered. But let’s not forget what promise opened for us when that stone was flung from its place. Jesus may be hidden from our eyes, but we can always find him in his word. He meets us there with his peace, his joy, his satisfaction, and his grace, and his promise that he will work good for us.

We will not stay in doubt, fear, pain, and sorrow. We will not stay in the grave. We will not stay in our mortal, perishable bodies. We will not stay on this earth, groaning under the weight of sin, but when he comes back, he will take us to live with him on a new earth, cleansed of all evil.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I am so glad that you are not here, that you are risen, just as you said. It means I can trust that you will keep all your promises to me. Amen.

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

Living Victoriously – April 19, 2022

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3:1-4

Living Victoriously

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 19, 2022

Devotion based on Colossians 3:1-4

See series: Devotions

To the world, the Christian life can look like a wasted life–so much time spent worshiping God and serving other people. Why not take everything this life has to offer and make the most of its pleasures?

Why not? Because we have been raised with Christ, and our lives are hidden with Christ in God. This doesn’t mean we live in some fantasy world. Nor does it mean we cut ourselves off from the joys of life.

We still live, work, and play in this world, but culture’s current trends don’t mold our minds, and life’s disappointments don’t crush our hearts. For our hearts are set on the glorious home that Jesus has prepared for us. And so, we gear our minds to wanting what God wants and walking in God’s ways.

Yes, this makes us look like poor, pitiful fools to the world, but our value comes not from what people see. Our value comes from what God sees. Jesus wraps himself around those who trust in him. So, when God looks at us, he sees one that he loves. He sees one with whom he is incredibly pleased. He sees one who is beautiful and blameless. He sees one who is devoted to our first love, Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, what grace that I am known, and I am treasured by you. Help me to show this same grace without measure. Amen.

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

The Victorious Life – April 18, 2022

“I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him.”
Exodus 15:1,2

The Victorious Life

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 18, 2022

Devotion based on Exodus 15:1,2

See series: Devotions

We like to remember the “good old days” when life was better, simpler, more wholesome. We long for those days again. But there are certain things we wish we could forget. And sometimes those things cast such a long shadow we think we cannot escape them and have no choice but to embrace them.

The Israelites’ time as slaves in Egypt was not the good old days. Even after God had delivered them with a mighty hand through the Red Sea, they still couldn’t shake their past. When the path to the promised land looked too difficult, they were ready to return to their former life of slavery.

However, God hadn’t just put space between them and their former way of life. He had shattered it and rendered it powerless. In its place, he gave them a new life and a new identity. As God’s chosen people, they had every reason to let go of their past, rejoice in their present, and hope in the future.

Easter is our Red Sea experience. It is the day that Jesus crossed over from death to life, shattering death and rendering the devil powerless. In its place, he gives us the gift of new life and a new identity. Through faith in Jesus, we are God’s chosen people.

If the path to God’s eternal promised land looks too difficult, too out of grasp, don’t look back. Don’t long for what once was. In Christ, good days do not lie behind us. Nor does our past define us. Jesus’ resurrection means that every day is a new day, a new life, for you and me.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I praise you for you are my strength against temptation, my defense against condemnation, and the joy of my salvation. Amen.

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

No Nonsense – April 17, 2022

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
Luke 24:9-12

No Nonsense

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 17, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 24:9-12

See series: Devotions

“Nonsense.” That’s what the apostles thought. They couldn’t believe the testimony of the women who had been to Jesus’ tomb. The stone rolled away. The tomb empty. An angel proclaiming Jesus has risen. Utter nonsense! The evidence, however, told a different story. Eventually, every detail Peter saw at the tomb supported the women’s earlier witness.

“Nonsense.” That’s what many people today say about the resurrection of Jesus. How could anyone be so foolish as to believe such a thing? It’s a fabrication. It’s a collection of exaggerations. It’s pure fiction. Nothing like this could ever happen. Still, the facts prove otherwise.

The facts are clear, and they are the foundation for the Christian faith. Jesus rose from the dead. The testimony of the Bible proves it. The eye-witness accounts of more than 500 people prove it. The consistency of the historical account proves it. The change brought about in the lives of Christians proves it.

The resurrection of Jesus is hardly nonsense. It is the most powerful and important truth ever!

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, my ever-living Savior, fill me with the confidence I need to trust in your resurrection. When my mind would lead me to uncertainty and doubt, fill my heart with the peace that you have secured. Amen.

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

Nothing More Needs to Be Said – April 16, 2022

[Jesus] humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:8

Nothing More Needs to Be Said

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 16, 2022

Devotion based on Philippians 2:8

See series: Devotions

Imagine it’s about 30 years after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Imagine you are a career military man, recently retired from the Roman army. Like many other retired soldiers, you decide to live in a town called Philippi. You like it there because so many of your neighbors are just like you—people who know what military life is all about.

Then it happens: The apostle Paul comes to your town with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. You believe his message. You help form a Christian congregation. You begin sharing the message of Christ with others.

But then life gets difficult. Because of your Christian faith, some of your old friends want nothing to do with you anymore. Some in your church family are even facing open hostility because of what they believe. You have moments when you wonder how much the Lord Jesus really loves you.

Then, a godsend—a letter from Paul! As you read it, there is one sentence that hits you hard. Paul is describing what Jesus was willing to do for you. He says, “He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Nothing more needs to be said. You see, as a soldier, you know what death on a cross is. The sight of gasping, writhing victims, the sound of their sobs, the smell, the flies—all have seared themselves into your memory long ago. And the Son of God willingly did that for you.

Does Jesus love you? There he was on the cross. There he bore your sins in your place.

Nothing more needs to be said.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you went to the cross in my place to take my every sin away. You love me. For that I love you. And I thank you. Amen.

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

His Punishment, Our Peace – April 15, 2022

He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

His Punishment, Our Peace

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 15, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 53:5

See series: Devotions

You are on trial. You would like to think that it is just a misunderstanding, a mistake. They have the wrong person, but you know that’s not the case. You have heard the charges, and it is impossible to deny even one of them.

You’ve been greedy. You’ve been selfish. You’ve lied. You’ve hurt others with your words and hated them in your thoughts. You’ve been guilty of lust and discontentment. You’ve shown you don’t trust God or love him more than anything else. And you can say, “Well, nobody’s perfect,” but that’s no defense. The law—God’s law—demands perfect, loving obedience in everything we think, say, and do.

As the evidence is brought forward, you slide down further and further in your seat. You knew the facts were against you, but you tried to forget just how much evidence there was that you were a lawbreaker.

The case is over. As the judge prepares to read the verdict, you see his son walk into the courtroom. He’s the one against whom you committed every one of those crimes. He speaks a few words to his father, and you are sure you are a goner.

“The facts in the case are clear,” the judge says. “No crime can go unpunished. I, therefore, sentence my son to be cursed and crushed and killed on a cross. He will endure no less than the torment of hell. Justice demands that he suffer mortal wounds for the crimes that have been committed. The defendant is free to go.”

That is what this day that we call Good Friday is all about. Jesus, the perfect Son of God, was punished in your place. The sentence for your sins was inflicted on him. The disobedience that made you an enemy of God has been erased from your record forever!

Because of Jesus, you have peace with God. Perfect, permanent peace paid for by the punishment of God’s own Son. Because of Jesus, you are free from guilt and even death. What wondrous love! What amazing grace!

Prayer:
Jesus, my Savior, you gave your life, your all, for me. What a marvelous gift! Amen.

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

His Food, Our Fill – April 14, 2022

[Jesus] said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
Luke 22:15,16

His Food, Our Fill

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 14, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 22:15,16

See series: Devotions

Don’t you love a good meal? Maybe it’s a birthday, anniversary, or holiday spent with people you love. Or it’s a special place—a favorite restaurant or a new one that comes highly recommended. Maybe it’s the one favorite meal that you never get tired of.

On the night before Jesus died, he enjoyed a meal with his friends. It wasn’t just any meal. It was the Passover meal, a special feast carefully prepared, served, and shared by the Jewish people every year.

The Passover was festive not just because it was celebrated with family. The Passover celebrated how God rescued the Jewish people from slavery and brought them to the Promised Land. Maybe best of all, it pictured a rescue still to come—a rescue that Jesus came to accomplish.

As Jesus sat down to that meal that night, he knew what would soon happen. He knew his body would hang on a cross and die. His blood would pour out of wounds that would be inflicted on him. He knew he would give his life for the sins of the world.

But knowing this didn’t sour the experience that night. It made Jesus look forward to it even more. The lamb killed and eaten in the Passover meal would foreshadow the way Jesus would be sacrificed to free us from our sins and bring us to the Promised Land of heaven, a sacrifice he was eager to make for you and me.

Jesus still longs to eat with us. When we hear his Word, he satisfies our hunger with his mercy and love. In Holy Communion, Jesus miraculously gives his body and blood with the bread and wine to remind us of his sacrifice and assure us of his forgiveness. With these gifts, he feeds our souls until we feast with him in heaven.

Prayer:
Jesus, you eagerly desired my salvation. Satisfy my soul with your Word. Amen.

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

Just the Gentle Savior We Need – April 13, 2022

He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
Isaiah 42:2,3

Just the Gentle Savior We Need

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 13, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 42:2,3

See series: Devotions

We are in the middle of a week that the church calls “Holy Week.” This week, we hear about and reflect on the events of the final week before Jesus died. The Bible tells us more about the events of this week than about any other week of Jesus’ life.

It is perhaps noteworthy then that it seems there is nothing written about Wednesday of Holy Week. Some label this day “Silent Wednesday.”

Though the silence stands out in contrast to the other details of this week, it doesn’t stand out from how Jesus often operates. It’s not that Jesus never raises his voice, but often, he chooses gentle silence and tender conversations.

This is especially the case with the bruised and broken. When we are broken by our inadequacies and bruised by our insecurities, Jesus speaks words of gentle, unconditional love. When the struggles of life leave us worn and weary, Jesus promises his strength and pledges never to leave us. When our guilt leaves us feeling crushed and hopeless, Jesus assures us that he forgives us completely and makes us new.

And when our trust in Jesus is hanging on by a thread, Jesus doesn’t shame us or disown us. Instead, he points us to his cross and tenderly says, “There I kept my promise to you. There I died for you. There I opened paradise for you. I love you, and I’m not going to let you go.”

How fitting it is that Jesus, who entered Jerusalem in humility to go to the cross and die for us, now comes humbly and gently in the words of the Bible to comfort and encourage us, to heal our hearts and restore our hope. That’s where you will find him. Don’t seek him in the flashy or spectacular. Don’t look for him in the alarming or attention-getting.

Look for him and listen to him in the Bible. There you’ll find just the gentle Savior you need, one who patiently forgives, consistently cares, and never fails you in your time of need.

Prayer:
Jesus, gentle Savior, thank you for dealing gently and lovingly with me in my weakness. Amen.

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

Humble Jesus Is My Lord – April 12, 2022

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:10,11

Humble Jesus Is My Lord

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 12, 2022

Devotion based on Philippians 2:10,11

See series: Devotions

That day was a glimpse at a hidden reality. Jesus’ true identity was hidden. While he lived in this world, he looked like anybody else. He ate and drank. He walked, worked, and slept.

There were hints that there might be more to Jesus. Because of the way he taught with such confidence and authority. The miraculous ways he helped people. The loving, gentle way he spoke to and cared for people. But overall, Jesus still looked like just a man to many.

That day, something looked different, though, if not about Jesus, then about how people reacted to him. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. And his friends and followers acted as if it were a presidential motorcade or a parade for a king returning from battle. They were shouting his praises and waving palm branches like their country’s flag. There was pomp and circumstance. And crowds of people joined in the celebration along the road. They were treating him like a king.

Even though Jesus seemed majestic that day on his donkey, it was later that week when his greatest and most praiseworthy work as Lord and King would happen in unthinkable humility—hidden from sight. He would bleed and die in weakness and shame to battle death and destroy sin’s curse.

Because he did, he rose from the dead and rules in heaven, where we and all who see him now by faith will see him in glory and praise our Lord and King.

Prayer:
Jesus, move my heart to acknowledge and praise you as Lord now and always. Amen.

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

He Became Nothing for You – April 11, 2022

Christ Jesus . . . being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing.
Philippians 2:5-7

He Became Nothing for You

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 11, 2022

Devotion based on Philippians 2:5-7

See series: Devotions

We live in a culture obsessed with me. From little on, children are taught to believe in themselves. Embrace who you are. Celebrate the things that make you unique and different. As a phrase growing in popularity puts it, “You do you!”

God made each of us unique. And blending in with the crowds, doing what everyone else is doing, isn’t always wise. But is self-pride really the answer? Tragically, in this world of self, more and more people come up empty when they seek worth and value in just being who they are.

Jesus, however, had every reason to “do you.” He was the perfect Son of God. He had no flaws to be ashamed of. But what did he do? He made himself nothing. Not because he wasn’t happy with who he was, but because he wasn’t happy with who we were and what the future held for us.

Without Jesus, our self-focused ways could only end in self-destruction. But Jesus came down from heaven to serve us in humility. He set aside his rights as the Son of God to give us the right to be children of God. He made himself nothing to make you something.

Jesus rode the road of humility and suffering to give you hope—hope that is not based on what anyone else thinks of you or what you think of yourself, but hope that is based on how Jesus sees you and what Jesus was willing to do for you.

Jesus saw every flaw and failure in you that no one should be proud of, and he humbled himself to endure its shame for you. Jesus was judged, not by self-righteous hypocrites, but by a holy God. Because Jesus took our place, the same God judges us worthy of love, worthy of life, worthy of heaven. What he thinks of us is worth more than what anyone else says.

Find your worth, meaning, and hope in him. And then “do you” as a redeemed and forgiven child of God.

Prayer:
Jesus, you became nothing for me. Help me find my hope and worth in you. Amen.

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

Reason to Keep Going – April 10, 2022

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; . . . And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:5,6,8

Reason to Keep Going

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 10, 2022

Devotion based on Philippians 2:5,6,8

See series: Devotions

In the state house at Albany, New York, there is a small artifact that tells a big story. It’s a letter written by President Abraham Lincoln. The letter grants a full pardon to a soldier found guilty of desertion. The soldier’s name is Roswell McIntyre. The letter is dated October 4, 1864.

As you read the letter, you can’t help but notice some additional scribbling on the lower left of the page. It’s this additional scribbling that completes the story. This extra note on the letter is dated 1865. It reads, “Taken from the body of R. McIntyre at the battle of Five Forks, Virginia.”

That’s the story of Roswell McIntyre. He was a man guilty of desertion. But instead of disgrace and punishment, he received a full pardon from his president. He was so grateful for that pardon that he carried it with him for the rest of the war. It kept him going. It empowered him to stand and fight. It empowered him to remain a faithful soldier to the end.

It’s no accident that the Bible compares our lives as Christians to those of soldiers. The spiritual dangers are great. The temptation to desert our Lord can be fierce. And, truth be told, you and I must confess that there have been many times we have run away from following the Lord’s will for our lives. For such desertion, you and I deserve God’s abandonment.

But because of Jesus, we have received a full pardon instead. Because of the cross, our failures are washed away. Through faith in him, we are forgiven and not condemned.

Keep that pardon with you. Pull it out and read it every day. Remember who you are in your Savior. It will keep you going. It will keep you faithful to the moment he takes you home.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, in you I stand completely forgiven. Empower me to fight the good fight. Empower me to be faithful to the end. Amen.

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

Forget What Is Behind You – April 9, 2022

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13,14

Forget What Is Behind You

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 9, 2022

Devotion based on Philippians 3:13,14

See series: Devotions

It was 1936, and the career of an obscure racehorse seemed over. Seabiscuit had had his shot at the big time, but all his efforts had been disappointments. Perhaps he was destined for failure. He was small in stature and walked with a gimp; he didn’t even look like a racehorse. By the end, his owner was simply using Seabiscuit as a training horse—making him lose in order to bolster the confidence of other horses.

It was then that Seabiscuit crossed paths with a mysterious trainer by the name of Tom Smith. Somehow Tom was able to get Seabiscuit to forget all his failures and rediscover the joy of running. So much so that Seabiscuit went on to become one of the most successful racehorses in the 20th Century.

Don’t you wish you could do that? Don’t you wish you could somehow forget all the sinful failures of your past and focus your future on something that fills you with joy and purpose?

That’s why Jesus came. His blood has washed away the guilt of your past. That means you can truly forget what is behind you. And that same blood has secured your present and your future. That means that you can now focus on the pure joy of living for him.

After all, the past does not determine your future. Jesus does.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, so often I have allowed the sinful failures of my past to rule over my present. Forgive me. Empower me to see that, in you, my sinful past is gone. Fill me again with the joy of giving my future to you. Amen.

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

Forget What Is Behind – April 8, 2022

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13,14

Forget What Is Behind

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 8, 2022

Devotion based on Philippians 3:13,14

See series: Devotions

It seems like, every few years, another movie comes out about time travel. We love these movies because we all wish we could go back and change our past. We all have regrets and guilt from things we’ve done or left undone. The problem is: ruminating on the past keeps us from living the Christian life in the present. It’s like a sprinter who keeps looking back instead of running to the finish line.

The apostle Paul was tempted to look back. In the past, he persecuted Christians even to the point of death. He thought it was God’s will to destroy Christianity. But then God called him not only to believe in Jesus but to be the lead missionary to bring the good news about Jesus to the ends of the earth. With such an important mission, he couldn’t waste time obsessing about his past.

So, he wrote: “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14).

Paul would not let his shame and guilt from the past stop him from doing the ministry in the present. Jesus had overcome his past through his death and resurrection. God wanted him to run the race God had set out for him.

Even if someone invented the time machine, you wouldn’t need it. God has forgiven your past. Now he wants you to focus on what’s ahead. Keep taking hold of the love and acceptance you have in Christ, and live out the calling that God has given you.

Prayer:
Lord God, you have forgiven my past. Lead me to keep my eyes fixed on following you in the future and the heavenly home you are preparing for me. Amen.

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

God’s Glorious Story – April 7, 2022

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
Isaiah 43:18,19

God’s Glorious Story

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 7, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 43:18,19

See series: Devotions

When you look at Jesus’ ministry, it doesn’t always seem so glorious. Yes, there are those times when he helped the sick, raised the dead, and fed the 5,000. But there are also those times when he was rejected in his hometown, ridiculed by the religious leaders, and finally hung on a cross, naked, and alone.

The Christian church also seems to follow that pattern. Yes, sometimes there are a number of new believers, unity in the church, and service in the community. But there are also times of decline, rejection from the world, and weakness.

But don’t be fooled by looking at a snapshot of God’s story. Our Lord has a history of redeeming, rescuing, and renewing his people. There was a time when God’s people were enslaved in Egypt for over 400 years. But God redeemed, rescued, and renewed his people. Then there was a time when God’s people were exiled into Babylon, but again he redeemed, rescued, and renewed his people.

The Biblical authors in the Old Testament knew that God wasn’t done yet. That’s why Isaiah wrote: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”

In other words, hold on to your hats. You haven’t seen nothing yet. God was about to redeem, rescue, and renew his people again. This time God was not going to use plagues or powerful leaders. This time God himself was going to help his people through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As you look at Jesus Christ and his church, it might seem like all is lost. You might even be tempted to reject the Lord with the rest of the world. But take a long view of history. Look at God’s great work of salvation throughout time. He has always come to the help of his people. And he is planning on doing it again. On the Last Day, he will return in glory to redeem, rescue, renew, and to even resurrect his people.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, sometimes I wonder whether you are still in charge in this broken, wicked, and sinful world. Forgive me for my lack of faith. Open my eyes to your glory. Amen.

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

Too Much to Lose – April 6, 2022

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
Philippians 3:7

Too Much to Lose

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 6, 2022

Devotion based on Philippians 3:7

See series: Devotions

Why did the religious leaders in Jesus’ day reject him as their Savior? The short answer: They had too much to lose, at least from their perspective. If Jesus really was right, then they were wrong about almost everything. They would have to admit they were wrong when they put their ultimate trust in their position in the community. Or when they trusted in how well they followed their own rules. Or when they tried to use their authority to control the people. So instead of admitting they were wrong, they rejected Jesus even to the point of crucifying him. They thought they had just too much to lose.

There was a time when another religious leader named Paul had the same point of view. He saw Jesus as a threat to everything he had gained through his religiosity. But Jesus himself confronted Paul and opened his heart to the truth of God’s love in Christ. And so, instead of trusting in his religious accomplishments, he came to say, “Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:7).

When Paul met Jesus, he started prizing and pursuing what God treasured. He stopped trusting and boasting about his successes, and he started worshiping and honoring his Savior.

The same option lies before us. We can follow the example of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. We could trust in our trophies, accomplishments, and religious observances. Or we could consider our record nothing in comparison to knowing Christ and being found in him.

Following Christ might mean that we lose in the eyes of the world. But whatever we might gain in this world is nothing compared to what we already have in Christ.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, help me to trust in you, and you alone. Amen.

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

Even the Experts Can Get It Wrong – April 5, 2022

The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest [Jesus] immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.
Luke 20:19

Even the Experts Can Get It Wrong

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 5, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 20:19

See series: Devotions

One of the most remarkable truths of Jesus’ story is that he was killed by religious professionals. The very people who studied, memorized, and taught the Scriptures, killed the hero of their own Bible. And it’s not because Jesus didn’t try to confront them and lead them to repentance. Even when he told the stories that were meant to get their attention, they still rejected him. The Gospel writer, Luke, says that after Jesus taught them, ‘The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them.” (Luke 20:19). Instead of listening to Jesus, they rejected him and wanted to get rid of him.

You see, sometimes, even the experts get it wrong. Sometimes the very people who are supposed to represent God end up rejecting God and cause more harm than good in his church.

The same thing can happen today. Religious leaders who are supposed to represent God might use their power and authority to harm or control their congregation. They might be more of a curse to your church than a blessing. Tragically, when this happens, many people walk away from Christianity altogether.

If you have been harmed by religious professionals, remember that Jesus was also harmed by religious professionals. If you have been burned by the selfishness of some leaders, remember Jesus, the true leader of the church, willing gave up everything to serve and rescue you. If you are considering giving up on God, remember that he has never given up on you.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, lead me to build my faith on you alone, especially when human leaders fail me. Amen.

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

A History of Rejection – April 4, 2022

[Jesus] went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.”
Luke 20:9-15

A History of Rejection

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 4, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 20:9-15

See series: Devotions

In this short story, Jesus is summarizing over a thousand years of Israel’s history. God gave Israel his word and his promises. But instead of learning and sharing God’s message with the world, Israel rejected God and his representatives.

You see, hostility toward God and the rejection of his word is not a new problem. It has been going on since the first people God created disobeyed him in the Garden of Eden. What is surprising is that God has not given up on his people. Not only did God continue to send prophets and teachers to his people, but he also sent his very own son, Jesus Christ. And although Jesus was rejected to the point of death, God used their failure to provide forgiveness to the world through the cross.

Don’t be startled when you see the world walk away from the truth. That’s to be expected. But let your heart continue to be renewed by God’s long-suffering and never-ending faithfulness and love.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I can get so depressed when I see so many leave the faith. Help me to see and believe in your faithfulness. Amen.

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

Finish the Race – April 3, 2022

I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. . . . I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12,14

Finish the Race

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 3, 2022

Devotion based on Philippians 3:12,14

See series: Devotions

“Citius, altius, fortius” is a Latin phrase meaning “swifter, higher, stronger.” It is the motto of the Olympic games and does well to embody what our calling in Christ pursues.

Christ has already taken care of saving us for a Christian life and setting us apart for an eternal life in heaven. He’s placed us on the path of righteousness but still lets us run. Swifter we flee from temptation. Higher we stretch ourselves to practice Christ-like love. Stronger we stand in the midst of suffering in this world. A shining example of this kind of fortitude was revealed in the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico.

A Tanzanian marathon runner named Akhwari was the last man to finish the marathon race. He arrived in the stadium staggering and limping; and finished his race long after the winner did. Of course, this prompted all kinds of post-race questions as to why he continued when he had no chance of winning.

He simply replied, “My country did not send me to Mexico City to start the race. They sent me to finish the race.”

A Christian who knew why God saved him and set him apart, the apostle Paul, also spoke in similar terms, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me . . . I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12,14).

Run, Christian, run. Finish the race.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I know you can understand me when I feel weak because you became weak. You became weary and tired. You were exhausted at times and overworked—like me. Sometimes I just want to sit down and give up and look for easier ways, but I know you don’t want that for me. Help me finish the race. Lift my feet to follow your steps. Extend my arms to reach others in love. Wipe my tears of sorrow so that I can better see the path. Lead me on, Lord. Lead me on. Amen.

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

Strength for Singing – April 2, 2022

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
Isaiah 12:2

Strength for Singing

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 2, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 12:2

See series: Devotions

Have you ever heard the saying: “whistling past the graveyard”? It is used to describe people who know they are in a terrible situation yet remain confident even in the face of overwhelming odds.

That saying can describe Christians. Isaiah 12:2 tells us why. It says, “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD is my strength and my song, he has become my salvation.” We human beings face a terrible situation and overwhelming odds. Sin infests our hearts like a disease, showing itself in hateful thoughts, hurtful words, and hostile actions toward others. The result is that we are headed for the graveyard, facing the death of our bodies and souls forever as our just punishment. And there is nothing we can do about it. There is nothing we can do to make up for our sins or set our wrongs right.

We need saving, and that saving comes not from us but from God. He has become our salvation. He sent his Son, Jesus, to endure the punishment for all our sins by giving his life on the cross. But that’s not all. Jesus not only fought our fight against sin and won, but he also rose again, conquering death. In Jesus, we have victory over sin and the grave. His work on our behalf gives us unshakable confidence in the face of overwhelming odds.

We can sing past the graveyard because, in Jesus and his sin-conquering strength, we have forgiveness. We can sing past the graveyard because the grave is not our end. Instead, Jesus makes heaven our eternal home. So, no matter the terrible situation, no matter the overwhelming odds, Jesus and his salvation give us strength for singing.

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, you are my salvation. Give me strength not to be afraid even of death itself because you defeated sin and death for me. Give me strength to sing of the salvation I have in you. Amen.

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

The Spirit Gives Life – April 1, 2022

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.
Romans 8:9,10

The Spirit Gives Life

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – April 1, 2022

Devotion based on Romans 8:9,10

See series: Devotions

Have you ever received a gift that made you so excited that you never used it? I doubt it! When we get a gift, we’ve longed to receive, it’s only natural to begin using it immediately.

Maybe you remember a toy you received as a child for Christmas. You couldn’t wait to get up the next morning to play with it again. Maybe you received a puppy and couldn’t wait to take it for its first walk around the block. Or maybe it was the gift of your newborn baby, and you couldn’t wait for the nurse to place that little one into your arms for the first time.

When you receive a wonderful gift, it just makes sense to use that gift immediately and often. To lay it aside and live as if you hadn’t received it simply would not make any sense.

So why would we ever think of laying aside the greatest and most precious gift we can ever receive—the gift of God’s Holy Spirit? When we freely receive the Spirit of Christ, we also receive the perfect forgiveness of sins, the assurance that our eternal condemnation is crushed, and the certainty of an eternal home in heaven. In short, the Spirit gives life, now and forever. Use it! Live it!

The apostle Paul could not have been clearer. “If Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.” Through the gift of God’s Spirit, Jesus’ righteousness—his perfection—is yours. That’s the gift of life! Use it!

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, inspire me to use my new life in service to you and others in love. Amen.

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