Generosity Made Possible – October 4, 2022

“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
1 Chronicles 29:14

Generosity Made Possible

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Daily Devotion – October 4, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Chronicles 29:14

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Maybe you’ve heard people say the phrase, “Who am I that God would bless me so much?” But maybe you haven’t heard anyone say the phrase, “Who am I that God would allow me to be so generous?” Yet, that is what King David says in our Bible reading for today.

God had blessed David with a prosperous kingdom and amazing wealth. The people of Israel also gained the blessings of being part of David’s rich, powerful kingdom. David and his people turned some of the wealth back over to God as they donated supplies to build him a magnificent temple in Jerusalem. David knew that the only reason he and his people could be so generous in giving for God’s temple was because God had first been generous to them.

God has also given you a generous mountain of gifts. He’s given you his undeserved love in Jesus, forgiveness and peace with him, and a home in heaven. On top of all those generous gifts, God has also blessed you with earthly gifts: food, drink, comfort, and financial resources.

Because God has been so generous to you, he has now made it possible for you to be generous in return. You now have a heart that wants to be generous toward God with your time, talents, and treasures. After all, everything you have is a gift out of his hand! All you’re really doing is giving good gifts back to the one they belonged to in the first place.

Who am I that God would be so generous to me? Who am I that God would give me the ability to be so generous to him and others? I am someone loved by my Father in heaven. That’s who I am.

Prayer:
Thank you, heavenly Father, for generously giving me so many spiritual and earthly blessings. Work in me a generous heart that loves giving good gifts to others. Let me give back to you with my time, talents, and treasures. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Praise the Possessor of All – October 3, 2022

David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, LORD, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.”
1 Chronicles 29:10,11

Praise the Possessor of All

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Daily Devotion – October 3, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Chronicles 29:10,11

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Do you praise the billionaires of the world? Probably not. After all, what have billionaires like Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos ever done for us? Maybe we own a Microsoft laptop or love our two-day Amazon Prime shipping, but we still had to pay for those things. They weren’t just given to us by Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. We probably wouldn’t praise the billionaires of the world.

However, we do sing praise to the possessor of all things. Like King David, we praise our Almighty God, who is the owner of everything in heaven and earth. God created everything and possesses all greatness, power, glory, majesty, and splendor. We don’t praise Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos because of how rich they are and how much they possess. But we praise God, the possessor of all things because he is also the giver of all good things! Our God uses his greatness, power, and glory to bless us!

We can’t help but shout our praise to the one who has allowed us to possess his love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit’s work. We can’t help but shout our praise to God, who has given us Christ’s white robe of perfection to possess as our very own. We can’t help but shout our praise to God for sharing the glory of his heaven with us. Praise God, the possessor of all, who shares all he has with you!

Prayer:
Almighty Lord, you truly possess all things in heaven and earth. I praise you and thank you for sharing all things with me through your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Glorious Return – October 2, 2022

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come.
2 Thessalonians 2:1,2

A Glorious Return

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Daily Devotion – October 2, 2022

Devotion based on 2 Thessalonians 2:1,2

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There was confusion among the members of the church in Thessalonica. A report circulated that Jesus had already returned; his second coming had already taken place. This information had allegedly come from Paul himself, so these Christians were led to believe that it was true. The impact on their faith and life was obviously distressful. If Jesus had already come, then they were left behind. Their hope for heaven was shattered. They were haunted by the fear of what was going to happen to them.

But the message that Jesus’ second coming had already occurred was false. It did not come from Paul. God did not lead him to proclaim that kind of message because it would have contradicted the truth. The word of God that Paul and other holy men of God were inspired by the Holy Spirit to proclaim clearly testified the truth about the coming of the Lord. This great event will take place on the very last day of this world’s existence. Jesus will appear, all the dead will be raised, and “every eye will see him” (Revelation 1:7).

No one will miss out on the second coming of Jesus. The hope and anticipation that we have for his glorious return rest on his first coming. Humbly he came to bear the guilt of our sins and suffer the punishment we deserved. He came to forgive us and give us the gift of eternal life. And he will come again to take his faithful people home with him forever in heaven. No child of God will be left behind. That’s the truth!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, fill me with the peace of your forgiveness that you accomplished when you came to this world as my Savior. Establish my hope in your glorious return when you will bring to an end all things here and receive me into the joys of heaven’s eternal home. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Time and Eternity – October 1, 2022

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

Time and Eternity

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Daily Devotion – October 1, 2022

Devotion based on Hebrews 13:8

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A popular theme of science fiction productions is traveling back into the past or jumping ahead into the future. Even if that were possible, the reality is that people can only be at one place at one time.

But at every moment in time, “Jesus Christ is . . .” Our glorified Savior Christ is King over time because he is not bound by it. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

“Jesus Christ is the same . . .” That means the message delivered by Jesus, the eternal Son of God, will not need to be morphed or reformatted for another time or place. The message is the same. The truth of his words stand firm forever.

“Jesus Christ is the same . . .” That means the reassuring comfort of his presence is the same for every person in every part of the world at every point in time. Every believer, including the saints in glory can say, “Jesus is with me.”

“Jesus Christ is the same . . .” That means his death on that one day in history gave the gift of God’s forgiveness to all people of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The Savior who was with Adam and Eve is the Savior who died for them. The Savior who appeared to Moses is the Savior who died for him. The Savior who meets us in worship is the Savior who died for us.

And when we meet this Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, on the last day, he will not need to time travel. He will be the same Jesus who had come in time to live, die, rise, and then ascend into heaven (see Acts 1:11). His words, presence, forgiveness, and love will be forever the same. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Prayer:
Jesus, I am greatly encouraged and comforted knowing you are unchanging. I can count on your unchanging word, your continual presence, your daily forgiveness, and your eternal love. Through all the changing experiences of my life, lead me on the sure and certain way to the glory you have prepared 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.
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The Word is Enough – September 30, 2022

If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.
Luke 16:31

The Word is Enough

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Daily Devotion – September 30, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 16:31

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My father is a man of few words, but he is also a man of his word. As a child, I learned that when he had something to say, I had better listen and obey.

I remember once, we were on a road trip, driving across middle America. I was sandwiched between my two sisters, and I was getting on their nerves. We bickered back and forth for a while. And then dad spoke.

“That is enough!”

And that was enough. Just like that, the argument was over. The fighting stopped. Peace was restored.

Jesus once told a story about a man whose soul went to hell after he died. Not wanting his still-living brothers to suffer the same fate, he asked that a dead man whose soul was in heaven be sent to earth to warn them. The answer he received is striking.

“They have God’s Word. That is enough.”

That Word is enough. This is because the Bible tells us all we need to know. It tells us all about Jesus and what he did for us. Jesus became earthly poor so that you might become eternally rich. He took on our debt of sin, paid for our guilt with his blood, and suffered our punishment with his death. And he rose from the dead to prove that he is our salvation.

Knowing these truths, recorded in the Bible, is all you need because it proves how much God loves you. No matter what you may be facing, you can go back to the Bible and be reminded again and again. This is why you do not need something more than the Word of God. You do not need something better than the Word of God. The Word is enough.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for showing me your love in 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.
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The Lord Lifts up the Lowly – September 29, 2022

Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. . . The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.
Psalm 146:3,8

The Lord Lifts up the Lowly

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Daily Devotion – September 29, 2022

Devotion based on Psalm 146:3,8

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His skin oozed as he scraped at the sores and scabs that covered his flesh. He sat on his throne of ashes, looking out at all that was left of his once great wealth. And it wasn’t much.

Satan had systematically stolen all that was his. His livestock was stolen. His servants were massacred. His livelihood went up in smoke. His children were killed. His health was hanging on by a thread. His wife gave up on him. His siblings and acquaintances abandoned him.

But there was one thing that Satan could not touch. The hope Job had in the Lord his God. In good times and bad, God is the help of the helpless, the defender of the defenseless, the lover of the loveless and unloved. When Job’s life let him down, God remained his helper. When he was laid low—the Lord lifted him up and restored him.

Like Job, you can trust in the Lord. He is the God who allowed himself to be lifted onto a cross to pay for your sins, to make you righteous in his sight. He is the one you can trust to lift you up when life lets you down.

Whatever you are facing this day, put your trust in the Lord.

Prayer:
My Lord and my God, I will praise you as long as I live, for you are my hope, my help, and 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.
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A Strange Kind of Love – September 28, 2022

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.
Hebrews 13:1

A Strange Kind of Love

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Daily Devotion – September 28, 2022

Devotion based on Hebrews 13:1

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Jesus had loved his disciples for the three years he was with them. Now that his death was near, Jesus showed just how much he loved them. Jesus got up and took off his tunic. Wrapping a towel around his waist, he washed their feet.

He stooped down and scrubbed the grime from between his disciples’ toes. One by one, he washed their feet—the feet of the one who was about to betray him, of one who would deny him, of one who would doubt him, of a skeptic, a tax collector, glory-seeking twins, a zealot.

The disciples thought this was strange. Washing people’s feet was a dirty job often given to servants. But here was their rabbi, showing them what love is by serving—a love that gives. But they were about to see stranger love than this. They would watch him give his head to thorns, his hands to spikes, his side to a spear, his life for ours.

It is a strange kind of love. Jesus’ love is foreign to this world. It is unlike anything that the human heart generates. His is not a love that acts only if he gets what he wants from us. He loves to help without expecting or demanding anything in return.

When he gives his help, he gives nothing less than his love. And because love is who he is, he gives us nothing less than himself. When we have him, we have his help. We have his love. We have everything we need to love as he has loved us.

That is what the writer of the book of Hebrews encourages us to do in today’s Bible reading—love one another the way Jesus has loved us. Love with actions–serving, sharing, helping. Look for opportunities to do this today.

Prayer:
God of peace, equip me with everything good to do your will and work in me what is pleasing in your sight. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Shining City Upon a Hill – September 27, 2022

Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come!
Amos 6:1

A Shining City Upon a Hill

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Daily Devotion – September 27, 2022

Devotion based on Amos 6:1

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A shining city upon a hill. That is how President Reagan described the United States. He saw this nation as “God-blessed, teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace.” He envisioned it being “a beacon for all who must have freedom.”

A shining city upon a hill. The leaders of ancient Judah and Israel also viewed their kingdoms that way. They thought of Mount Zion and Mount Gerizim, their capital cities, as pieces of heaven on earth. The problem was these leaders cared only about their own comfort and cared nothing for the poor and oppressed among them.

Those of us who live in the wealthiest parts of the world can easily fall into the same trap. We can become so concerned with our own comfort that we have no concern for the less fortunate all around us. The warning given by the ancient prophet Amos might well be aimed at modern-day men and women like us. Woe to us who live in luxury and are indifferent to the fate of others. Woe to us who are addicted to feeling good but could not care less about the world’s moral rot and ruin. Woe to us because what this world offers will be taken from us.

For all our self-centeredness and selfishness, let us turn to God for forgiveness. And, thankfully, there we find it. Our God has graciously freed us from sin and death. Through faith in Christ Jesus, who died for our “me-first” focus, God transports us into a spiritual kingdom brimming with the overwhelming peace of forgiveness, the rock-solid hope of the resurrection, and eternal pleasures at his right hand. Through his Word, God transforms us into something new.

You are a shining city upon a hill. As your life beams with God’s kaleidoscopic gifts of grace, you light up the world. Shine on that those who hunger for freedom may find it in Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord God, fill me with the light and life of your Son that his love may shine through my every thought, word, and action. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Looks Can Be Deceiving – September 26, 2022

[Jesus said to them] “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table.”
Luke 16:19-21

Looks Can Be Deceiving

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Daily Devotion – September 26, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 16:19-21

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There was a rich man whose life appeared perfectly fabulous in every way. He wore the finest clothes, and every meal was a feast.

There was a poor man whose life appeared perfectly miserable in every way. His clothes were dull. He never had enough to eat.

The poor man’s name was Lazarus. Though the world did not know him as anything special, God knew him well. And Lazarus knew his God well. It was in God that he trusted, in spite of his circumstances. So, while it looked like he had nothing, in God, Lazarus had everything.

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Your eyes may see a nobody, someone overlooked or forgotten, but Jesus knows your name, and he has your number! Your eyes may see someone whose life is defined by countless bad decisions, but Jesus has already done all things well for you and purified you completely with his blood. Your eyes may see someone who is struggling, but you are more than a conqueror through Christ who loves you. It may feel, at times, like you have nothing, but in Jesus, you have everything.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, open my eyes to see my wealth and my worth in Jesus, my Savior. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Money Makes No Promises – September 25, 2022

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

Money Makes No Promises

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Daily Devotion – September 25, 2022

Devotion based on Hebrews 13:5

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Define financial stability. Is it having enough money to purchase needs or also the wants? How much savings determines stability—$1,000? $10,000? $1,000,000? Defining financial stability is not so easy.

No matter how we define it, a time of financial instability can be unnerving. When money is tight, the dreams can be dashed. But it is not just dreams that need money. For most, money buys the basics of food, clothes, and shelter. How devastating it is if earthly needs can’t be met from lack of funds. Whether it’s funding dreams or daily needs, the money we thought would always be there can fail us.

There is someone, however, who will never fail us. God has promised in his Word never to forsake those who are his own. In fact, God specifically tells us that we ought not place our trust in money, which can fail, but in him, who never fails. Whether we have $1,000,000 or $1, God will not turn his back on those he loves.

No, God has not promised that he will give us everything we want. But he has promised to supply us with everything we need. He has promised to see us through the hard times. And he proved his promise by sending his own Son, Jesus Christ, to forgive the sins of the world. God loved you and me so much he saved us from the eternal punishment our sins deserved. He also loves us enough to provide for us when money is tight.

Money can make no promises. God says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Prayer:
Dear God, give me what I need for my daily life. Keep me from a love for things that gets in the way of my love for you. When tough times come, strengthen my trust that you will be with me and that you will provide. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Merciless Master – September 24, 2022

[Jesus said] “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Luke 16:13

Merciless Master

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Daily Devotion – September 24, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 16:13

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We tend to live urgently. Deadlines, high-priority messages, and target dates have many of us working at an unsustainable pace. When we finally catch our breath, we wonder how we’ll survive the next big push.

Pressing deadlines and demanding supervisors make it challenging to have a life outside of work. Often, we try to do two things at once—or more! We bring our phones to the dinner table. We reply to emails during soccer games. Even when we’re finally unplugged, date night is ruined by the overflow of office stress. What is the return on our investment? Divided attention, disappointment, and sometimes even divorce. Our closest relationships suffer the most when work and life are not properly aligned.

So why do we live this way? Money is enticing because it offers potential. If we had more, we could do more. More money means a better house or car. To us, better stuff means a better life.

Jesus warns that money is a merciless master. Serving money will destroy you because it always demands more. More of your time. More of your skills. More of your energy. More of you.

Money wants exactly what God wants—you. That’s why Jesus says, “You cannot serve both God and money.”

Moved by our Lord’s unconditional love, our eyes will be locked on Jesus; not on our hectic schedules. Our closest relationships can blossom because work and eternal life are properly aligned. Even when the pace quickens, God directs our focus heavenward and transforms our attitudes toward the temporal. We’re content with our present circumstances. We’re excited about our eternal future. We rest without anxiety. In Christ, we enjoy unmatched peace.

Prayer:
Lord of life, you continue to take care of all my needs. Thank you. Give me peace and fulfillment as I serve you in my workplace, my home, and my community. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Rich – September 23, 2022

Command those who are rich in this present world . . . to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous.
1 Timothy 6:17,18

Rich

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Daily Devotion – September 23, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Timothy 6:17,18

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Imagine the apostle Paul has just stepped forward into our 21st Century society. He has received a detailed description of the typical standard of living for Christians who live in a modern civilization. He’s learned all about our conveniences: access to medical care, ease of travel, varieties of food, freshly squeezed orange juice in the dead of winter, closets of clothes, garages of cars, indoor climate control, family trips, net assets, investments, retirement plans, our income that’s often so disposable we may think nothing of “going out for a bite to eat” simply because we can.

Then, with Paul knowing what he knows about us, you and I stand before him and clear our throats. We then try to explain to him that the Word of God in our reading that speaks “to those who are rich in this present world” does not apply to us.

The vast majority of us—in comparison to most parts of the world and in past standards of living—are among the materially rich. That is not wrong in and of itself. We give thanks to a lavish God for it. But in light of this lavish treatment, let’s confess to our Lord and to each other all the time you and I have failed to demonstrate heartfelt generosity in its many forms. Let’s also confess all the times we have talked ourselves into thinking that we cannot afford to be generous; that generosity is meant for someone else.

Thank God that we are even richer in another way. We are rich in God’s grace. We are rich in God’s overwhelming forgiveness of our every sin through faith in the blood of Christ. That makes us truly rich, eternally blessed.

How to thank such a generous God? “Be rich in good deeds,” Paul tells us, “be generous.” And we can do so joyfully. For doing this, we are simply giving shouts of praise to God for what he’s already given to us.

Prayer:
Lord, by your gospel, displace the stinginess of my old self with generosity and joy. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Trap – September 22, 2022

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap . . . For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
1 Timothy 6:9,10

Trap

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Daily Devotion – September 22, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Timothy 6:9,10

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A man by the name of Hansie Cronje [pronounced HAHN-see CROHN-yah] is not familiar to many of us. In South Africa, where the game of cricket is a dominant sport, Hansie Cronje was a household name. Imagine a person with the superstar talent of a Michael Jordan, the universal popularity of a Tom Hanks, and the integrity of an Abraham Lincoln all rolled into one. In the 1990s, when racial divisions were fierce, black and white citizens alike revered Hansie, a white man, for his sense of fairness and his strength of character.

Therefore, when a report with evidence appeared that Hansie was taking money for match-fixing, almost everyone dismissed the report as outrageous. His reputation for honesty was impeccable. How could anyone even suggest such a thing?

A few days later, however, Hansie cracked. He confessed that the substance of the report was true. Later, in a legal hearing televised live to the nation, Hansie told what he had done. He also answered the question: “Why?” The reason he gave was simple. It was, he said, “an unfortunate love of money.” Authorities later banned Hansie Cronje from cricket for the rest of his life. He died in a plane crash two years later.

Hansie was honest as to the trap into which he had fallen. God’s Word, through the apostle Paul, is honest too. Across the centuries, Paul is looking us straight in the eye when he speaks to us. The love of money has always been a trap for our fallen, sinful natures. In our culture that is materialistic and money-centered, the trap is insidious. But such a trap cannot just ruin reputations and careers. Far more lethal, such a trap can pull the soul away from our Savior-God.

Are you in such a trap? Even now, Jesus reaches for you. He calls you to repentance. Be refreshed in his forgiveness purchased at Calvary’s cross. Be empowered to replace your love of money with God’s love for you in Christ.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I think about money so much, and think about you so little. Forgive me. Refresh me in your Spirit. Dominate my thoughts once again. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Contentment – September 21, 2022

But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1 Timothy 6:8

Contentment

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Daily Devotion – September 21, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Timothy 6:8

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Many years ago, in the Far East, there was a man named Ali. Ali owned a farm, and he was content. However, one day someone told him about diamonds. Ali, therefore, started on an extensive journey in search of diamonds. He never found them. In the process he had to sell his farm to cover his expenses. So when all was said and done, Ali died a penniless and broken man.

Meanwhile, back at Ali’s old farm—the new owner of the farm was getting settled. He brought his camel to a stream on the farm for a drink. As the camel drank, the man looked into the stream and noticed a stone that reflected sunlight in a dazzling way. The man had just discovered the diamond mine of Golcanda, one of the most magnificent mines in the world.

The story reminds us of our lives as Christians. In our 21st Century society, we receive constant messages that tell us not to be content with what we already possess. Through television, radio, print, and the staggering array of social media, a massive advertising industry is at work not only to convince us to purchase a certain product; it is at work to shape our very view of life. Therefore, it should not surprise us that one of the great temptations for you and me is not to be content.

But here’s the problem. When the lack of contentment pushes us to wander away—always consuming, upgrading, and searching for the next new thing—we abandon the treasure we already possess.

Our treasure is Jesus and his gospel. His perfect life lived in our place, and his death on the cross for our sins has given us riches beyond our wildest dreams. Through his Holy Spirit, God himself is now ours, and we are his. We now possess his every promise to take care of us personally. And it is that very treasure that empowers us to display true contentment and remember the treasure we have.

Prayer:
Lord, forgive my lack of contentment. Refresh me in your gospel. Remind me of what I have. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Reflections – September 20, 2022

They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.
Ecclesiastes 5:20

Reflections

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Daily Devotion – September 20, 2022

Devotion based on Ecclesiastes 5:20

See series: Devotions

A question. If Satan were to get you to reflect on your life, what kinds of reflections would they be?

Reflections from Satan might include the following: I made it. I’m a success. I’ve done what I set out to do. I’m now enjoying the things that make life worth living. On the other hand, reflections from Satan might also include thoughts like these: My life is a disappointment. I should have achieved so much more. I cannot forget the people who’ve hurt me, and I cannot forget all the people I’ve let down.

Such reflections from Satan have one thing in common. They all focus on the self. They all fail to acknowledge the reality of our Savior-God.

The story of your life is not you in a vacuum. It includes your Creator-God loving you so much that he chose to mount a rescue mission to save you from yourself. To do this, God became one of us. In the person of Jesus, he lived the kind of life you know that you should have lived. Then he took upon himself all the ways you have let him down and blotted them out for all time through his blood on the cross.

And now he lives. He lives to delight in you. He delights in you because, through faith in him, you are forgiven, cleansed, precious in his sight. And because you are, he has saturated your every moment in this life with a kind of significance and purpose that nothing else can match.

You are God’s special creation through faith in his Son, Jesus. He is using every moment of your life to carry out his good will in your corner of his Kingdom. He sees your fruits of faith. He employs your fruits of faith. Regardless of your outward circumstance, what you do matters. It matters because God himself is working through you.

In Jesus, you and I can shake off the distracting reflections that Satan tries to slip us. In Jesus, God keeps us occupied with gladness of heart.

Prayer:
Lord, when Satan slips his reflections into my mind, replace them with gladness of heart 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.
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The Hoard – September 19, 2022

I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner.
Ecclesiastes 5:13

The Hoard

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Daily Devotion – September 19, 2022

Devotion based on Ecclesiastes 5:13

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His name is Lonnie. When the cameras first enter his home, Lonnie is all smiles. Lonnie is the owner of a massive collection of Las Vegas memorabilia, and he is proud of it. His inventory of artifacts is so large that it fills three large buildings—including his own house. Neon signs, clothing from famous performers, giant statues—Lonnie has it all and more.

Several minutes into Lonnie’s tour, you sense that all is not well. During the tour, Lonnie’s wife, Sandy, comes along. Sandy is quiet and pleasant but also clearly troubled. In time, the truth comes out. After years of feeding his impulse to hoard, Lonnie has put them in debt. Even worse, his passion for collecting has begun to dominate everything else—even his family relationships.

It might be easy to dismiss Lonnie as an eccentric and to congratulate ourselves for not being so over-the-top. But let’s think again. True, few of us have three buildings filled with all things Vegas. However, perhaps, I am guilty of hoarding too. In other words, perhaps I’m guilty of taking something that’s fine in and of itself but hoarding it to such a degree that it twists my priorities. For example, I may hoard a favorite hobby, my children’s athletic schedules and dance classes, my weekends, movies on Netflix, or money.

As God’s Word warns in Ecclesiastes chapter five, anything of this world—even something that’s good in and of itself—anything of this world that I hoard will bring me harm. It will bring harm because such a hoard will put distance between my Savior and myself.

But Jesus does not abandon me to my sinful impulses. Instead, he pursues me, calls me to repentance, and embraces me in his gospel. He assures me that, through faith in the blood shed for me on Calvary’s cross, I am forgiven; and I am his. He refreshes me to remember that life is not what I hoard in this world. Rather, my life is Christ.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, my life is not what I hoard. My life is you. Help me remember this. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Contentment – September 18, 2022

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
1 Timothy 6: 6-9

Contentment

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Daily Devotion – September 18, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Timothy 6: 6-9

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Few things are more difficult to attain than contentment. No matter how much we have, we would like more. And when we are not content, we are miserable. Even worse, our Bible passage for today says, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”

We don’t want that. What we want it to be content. The apostle Paul told his young friend Timothy that godliness with contentment is great gain. When we are content with what God has given us—knowing that everything we have is an undeserved gift from him, knowing that he was willing to sacrifice his own Son for our sins and assure us of eternal life when his Son was raised from the dead—when we are content with these great gifts, it is a great gain for us. We are happier, lighter on our feet, less jealous, and more joyful. Isn’t that great?

Prayer:
Lord, let me see all the blessings you have showered on me so that I am content. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Recognizing Your Sin – September 17, 2022

Now the tax collectors and ‘sinners’ were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them . . . “there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Luke 15:1-3,7

Recognizing Your Sin

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Daily Devotion – September 17, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 15:1-3,7

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He was almost forced off the road and muttered, “How could anyone drive so recklessly?” She read about the senseless murder and muttered, “How could anyone be so brutal?” After seeing another politician or athlete confess a sin, we mutter, “How could they lie, take performance-enhancing drugs, text such lewd photos?”

Luke 15 is a great chapter about the lost—the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. It begins with some muttering. Awful sinners had gathered around Jesus to hear his message. But some of the religious elite muttered. They wondered how Jesus could welcome “sinners” into his presence and even sit down for a meal with them. If Jesus were truly God, he would know who they were. He’d know better than to associate with them.

But those “sinners” were people who recognized their sin. Those “sinners” understood how awful they had been, how they had hurt people and said shameful words. They knew they were sinners who needed the forgiving love of Jesus.

How different those sinners were from the religious elite who thought they were so good that they didn’t need the forgiving love of the Savior, Jesus, who was right there in their presence.

When you’re tempted to mutter, don’t be judgmental about the sins of others. Repent of your sin. Rejoice in that Savior who came to forgive the sins of “sinners” no matter who they are, even sinners like you and me. Give the angels a reason to rejoice in your repentance, rather than shake their heads in dismay over your judgmental self-righteousness.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, keep me from being judgmental. Help me to repent of my sin humbly and daily. Help me to rejoice in your forgiving love for lost sinners, even sinners like me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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We Find Comfort – September 16, 2022

You ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.
2 Corinthians 2:7,8

We Find Comfort

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Daily Devotion – September 16, 2022

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 2:7,8

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Eureka! I found it! It is such a relief to find something that was lost. But there is no joy greater than when a lost soul is found.

Today’s Bible reading is about just such an event. A man in the Christian congregation in Corinth had been so lost in sin that he refused any correction. To warn this man of his lost condition, his church had to declare that this man was outside of God’s kingdom and destined for eternal death. Can someone get more lost than that?

Thankfully, the congregation’s act of love achieved its goal. By the grace of God, the man repented and returned to the Lord. A heart that was once calloused to the Word and warning of God was now broken and longing for comfort. And that’s what the apostle Paul instructed his church to give him—comfort through complete forgiveness.

Think of how our world treats someone who has done something it considers shameful. So often, there’s no coming back. The person is written-off, canceled—that’s it. But this man returned and was restored. No hoops to jump through. The one who was once lost found comfort and relief, and heaven rejoiced over one sinner who repented—he recognized his need for forgiveness and trusted in Jesus for complete forgiveness.

That same comfort is yours! Jesus does not shame us when we come to him in humility, recognizing how much we need him. Jesus doesn’t cancel us and cut ties. He does not give us hoops to jump through to earn back his love. He reaffirms his unconditional love for us and reassures us of his forgiveness. In that love and forgiveness, we find eternal comfort.

Prayer:
Jesus, lead me back always to your love and forgiveness to find comfort that lasts. Amen

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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How much is it worth? – September 15, 2022

[Jesus said] “Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’”
Luke 15:8,9

How much is it worth?

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Daily Devotion – September 15, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 15:8,9

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How much is it worth? That’s a good question to ask when you lose something. If it’s worth very little, it’s no great loss. In fact, you might not even know it’s missing. If it’s worth very little, you might as well cut your losses and move on.

Earlier in this chapter of the Bible, Jesus told a parable about one lost sheep out of one hundred—a one percent loss. Now the stakes get higher. A woman loses ten percent of her savings. You can understand why this woman was frantically searching for a coin—this was not merely a penny or a quarter. It was worth much more.

Your life, which God has fearfully and wonderfully made, is worth much more. Your life has great value to God for two great reasons. One, because he made you. Two, because he redeemed you. That means he paid the price to buy you back from sin, death, and the power of the devil. You have great worth to your Maker and Savior.

But how much? How much are you worth? When we try to set the value of our lives by what we achieve, some days we feel worthwhile and other days not so much. When we try to gauge our worth on what people think of us or how they treat us conflicts or negative interactions can leave us feeling worthless. Instead, let the one who made you and saved you tell you how much you’re worth.

To answer that question, “how much is it worth?” you must consider the price that was paid. Jesus paid the ultimate price to take away your sins by giving his life on the cross. He gave his life for you. That’s how much you are worth.

Prayer:
Lord, since you set such a great value to my life which you have saved, may I value you more than anything in all the world. Amen

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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He Doesn’t Cut His Losses – September 14, 2022

[Jesus said] “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?”
Luke 15:4

He Doesn’t Cut His Losses

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Daily Devotion – September 14, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 15:4

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The religious leaders of Jesus’ day wondered why Jesus was interacting with sinners. Jesus answered with a parable. One sheep out of one hundred got lost. The shepherd left the ninety-nine to go after one sheep. It was just a one percent loss—seems like a low attrition rate in a business like that. Was it wise for the shepherd to go after one lost sheep, or should he have just cut his losses and rejoiced that he still had ninety-nine?

Jesus wasn’t talking about sheep. He was talking about souls and his concern for every lost soul. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, didn’t cut his losses. He didn’t write us off as a lost cause. When it came to saving us, Jesus didn’t run a cost-benefit analysis before he came to seek and to save. He knew it would cost him his life on a cross. The Shepherd laid down his life for you to bring you to heaven, rejoicing over one precious soul.

Remember this if you still seem lost and confused at times. Remember that you have a Good Shepherd who, without a second thought, comes after you to seek, save, and keep you.

Prayer:
Jesus, my Good Shepherd, keep me always in your tender care and open my eyes to see and reach out to the lost around me. Amen

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Lost and Found – September 13, 2022

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Luke 15:1,2

Lost and Found

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Daily Devotion – September 13, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 15:1,2

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Have you ever walked by a lost and found? So often, there are such trivial things that you wonder, “Who would come back for that?” The stuff doesn’t seem to have any significant value. An old water bottle. A torn sweatshirt. A dirty pair of worn-out shoes. Who would care enough to come and search for that?

That’s what the Pharisees and teachers of the law wondered, as they walked by the spiritually lost people of Jesus’ day. “Why bother?” These religious elite had written these sinners off as lost causes. They wondered why Jesus would waste his time with them!

But, unlike the religious elites of his day, look where Jesus placed himself. He welcomed sinners and ate with them. He didn’t say “ick” and run away. Even though Jesus is true God, even though he was perfect and without sin, he spent time with sinners.

If you’ve ever felt brushed off by someone, or if you’ve wondered, “who would come searching for me?” remember that Jesus doesn’t distance himself from a messy life and complicated problems. In fact, he welcomes you; he settles into your life, and he’s not ashamed. Jesus does that because he is the God who, in love, came to seek and save the lost.

So, there’s no need to hide who you are or what you’ve done. What you’ve done has been overcome by what Jesus has done. You are not a lost and worthless item in the lost in found—found in the love of Christ; you are God’s prized possession.

Prayer:
Thank you, Jesus, for coming into my life even when I was lost, even when my life is a mess. In you, I find complete forgiveness and real peace. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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What are you looking for? – September 12, 2022

The Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.
Hosea 3:5

What are you looking for?

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Daily Devotion – September 12, 2022

Devotion based on Hosea 3:5

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What are you looking for? Is it a lost set of keys or something more? Are you searching for peace in troubling times? Are you seeking comfort and security? Whether it’s a lost item or something more, we do a lot of searching.

In the days of the prophet Hosea, the Israelites were looking for something more. Sadly, they were looking in all the wrong places. They were looking for peace and hope in false gods. They were looking for comfort and security in cozy homes and cushy lifestyles. The more they searched, the more they got lost. They lost sight of the only true God who rescued and blessed them.

Ironically, in our searching, at times, we lose sight of the only one who can provide that something more. Thankfully, we have a God whose searching skills are far greater than our own! Imagine a child lost in the grocery store. He panics and tries to find his mother. But then his mom come from behind, calling his name. He turns and runs into his mother’s arms and says, “I found you!” Really it was his mother who found him. She came searching and calling her child’s name.

The Israelites would return and seek the Lord because the Lord, in his searching love, came after his lost children and called them back to his love. This is what it’s like for us. If it depended on our searching skills, we would still be lost looking for that something more in all the wrong places. But the Lord is the God who searches. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to seek and to save the lost. He called you by name. And like that boy, you can exclaim, “I found you!” when really he sought you and found you in his love. And in him, we find that something more—peace in troubling times, comfort, and security now and forever.

Prayer:
Lord, in your love, you sought me when I sought you not. Now that you have found me by your great love, may I always come to you to find what my searching heart is looking for. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Worth a Bunch – September 11, 2022

[Jesus said] “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:8-10

Worth a Bunch

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Daily Devotion – September 11, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 15:8-10

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Can you picture it? She’s lost her coin—it’s worth a bunch! Can you sense the effort that would have to go into finding the coin? What a challenge. What joy when the coin is found.

The angels in heaven experienced that kind of joy—on the day God brought you to faith in Jesus. Can you imagine? The angels in heaven were rejoicing because God had called you to believe in Jesus.

Oh, it took effort. God had to go looking for you and me. God had to bring the message of Jesus to us and convince us that Jesus had died for us. God had to work faith in our hearts, keep on strengthening that faith, and go after us when we strayed. God had to put in all that effort in order to “find” you. Was it worth it? Obviously, God thought it was.

So now? Now we will not fear! We will not! After all, if God has put in the effort to search for you, to find you, to call you to himself, does it not make sense that God would do whatever it takes to make sure that you are kept safe, either on this side of eternity, or far more importantly, on the other? Absolutely, he will! He’s invested way too much in you to do anything else.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for seeking me out and finding me. Help me treat being a member of your family as the treasure it is. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Question – September 10, 2022

Formerly he was useless . . ., but now he has become useful.
Philemon 1:11

The Question

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Daily Devotion – September 10, 2022

Devotion based on Philemon 1:11

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Author John Gardner tells of a pleasant, elderly man he used to know. As pleasant as this elderly man was, however, he loved to ask a particular question that many people found unsettling. The question was this: “What have you done that you passionately believe in?”

Many found this question unsettling because it forced them to rethink their lives on the spot. For years they had been comfortable making conversation about what they did for a living, how busy they were, the trips they had taken, the restaurants and movies they enjoyed. But suddenly, here was this gentle, gracious old man who asked them something for which they did not have an immediate answer.

How about you? What is your answer? What have you done that you passionately believe in?

Of course, one could answer that question in all kinds of ways—from making a difference at your place of work to teaching the lonely child next door how to make cookies. However, if you see your life through the lens of Christianity, sooner or later, you’re going to conclude that the most satisfying actions in your life are the ones connected to Jesus Christ.

Apart from Jesus Christ, every ability I use and every deed I do has no permanent value. Even if I manage to make a noticeable impact on this world, it’s on a world that’s cracked, broken, and fading away.

But in Jesus, everything is different. His work as my substitute has washed me clean of my sinful self-absorption. His Holy Spirit has also bonded me to things that are lasting and real. This means that everything I do, no matter how involved, no matter how simple—everything I do to the glory of my Savior is a priceless fruit of faith that has positive, eternal consequences in the hands of my Heavenly Father, who is the everlasting God of all.

So go ahead and answer the question. Our answers will vary in specifics, of course. What matters is the connection they have to our Savior from sin.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, by your Holy Spirit, fill me with the joy of knowing that even the simplest things I do to your glory are vital and profound in your sight. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Stay Salty – September 9, 2022

[Jesus said] Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
Luke 14:34

Stay Salty

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Daily Devotion – September 9, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 14:34

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My heart doctor told me that salt is not good for my heart. He advised me to go on a low-salt diet, and I have tried to follow his advice. I used to think of salt as a flavor enhancer, but now when I bite into some restaurant foods, all I can taste is the salt.

Two thousand years ago, salt was used for much more than flavor. It was a way to preserve food for use later. Salt was good, but if it lost its saltiness, food was spoiled rather than preserved. And there was really no way for salt to be made salty again.

This expression of Jesus is a reminder for me to persevere. If my faith loses its faithfulness, what good is it? I want to to continue to savor the object of my faith, Jesus, my Savior. If my faith functions as salt, preserving me from corruption and decay, I can face each day with fresh confidence.

If my love fades, what good is it? I want love to predominate in my life. If the love of Christ fills me with all joy and peace as I trust in him, I will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. My kind words can be the seasoning that enhances someone else’s life.

It’s no wonder, then, that Jesus encourages us to stay salty!

Prayer:
Lord God, as one of your followers, help me to be the salt of the earth. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Count the Cost – September 8, 2022

[Jesus said] Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
Luke 14:31-33

Count the Cost

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Daily Devotion – September 8, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 14:31-33

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At first it sounds like Jesus is trying to talk people out of becoming one of his followers. He talks about a king who is planning to go to war against another king with twice as many soldiers. At a certain point, the first king realizes that it would not be wise, so he figures out a way to avoid war. Is Jesus telling us to give up on becoming his disciple? That it’s too hard?

The point here is exactly the opposite. Jesus wants you to count the cost of not being his disciple.

If you’ve been waging war against God himself—his will, his commandments, or salvation through Christ—then you’re fighting a losing battle. God is more powerful. He is always right. The consequence of fighting him is an eternity of punishment, and that’s a cost that should certainly be counted.

So what’s the alternative to fighting him? Ask for terms of peace. God has provided peace for you by the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. You have forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus, complete salvation, perfect rest.

There may be things you’ll want to give up. Most people consider waging war against God when they realize they have desires that God calls wrong. But a life of repentance is worthwhile not just for eternity but right now as well. A clean conscience is a powerful thing.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, lead me to see the value of following you every day of my life. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Carrying Their Cross – September 7, 2022

[Jesus said] And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:27

Carrying Their Cross

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Daily Devotion – September 7, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 14:27

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Some people pay for other people to push them. They hire personal trainers who tell them to eat less desirable food and refrain from eating the tastiest stuff. Those trainers push them to the point of pain in the gym and even strongly encourage them to keep going when they want to give up.

Why would anyone ever hire a personal trainer? It’s because they want to be better people, different people. When the personal trainers advertise their services, are they honest about what kind of pain they will put people through?

Jesus is honest about the kind of pain that comes from following him. He told his disciples that they were going to suffer. He used an expression, “carry their cross,” that implied that they would be treated like criminals.

Why would anyone ever want to put themselves through that kind of punishment? Disciples of Jesus realize that they may be misunderstood and mistreated. They find out they are fighting their own sinful flesh their whole lives. They make sacrifices, and often go unappreciated.

Why would Jesus’ disciples ever want to do that? It’s because Jesus has made them different people. They were once on the road to hell, but now they have the sure promise of eternal life in heaven. They used to live in guilt, but now they live in forgiveness.

Being a disciple of Jesus is worth all that suffering. There is glory that will be revealed in them.

Prayer:
Lord, lead me to bear my cross with perseverance as I look to Jesus’ cross for my strength. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Putting Jesus First – September 6, 2022

[Jesus said] If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:26

Putting Jesus First

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Daily Devotion – September 6, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 14:26

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Love your father and mother. Honor and obey them. Life will be better for you and for them. Take care of your family. Demonstrate sacrificial love for them and consider how you can help them even more than you already do. Take care of yourself. Take time to relax and refresh your energy.

But if you notice that doing any of those things makes you love Jesus less, then he calls you to some self-assessment. Do you overlook your parents doing things that Jesus condemns? Do you avoid calling them out on those things to avoid confrontation? Jesus calls on you to love him more than your parents.

Do you defend the actions of your spouse or your children even though you know they are wrong? Do you criticize Christians who gently point out that God wants what’s best for your brothers and sisters, and that’s why we have the Ten Commandments? Jesus calls on you to love him more than your family.

Do you spend a lot of time justifying what you know is wrong? Do you put your leisure time ahead of your time in God’s Word? Jesus calls on you to love him more than yourself.

Jesus really does know what’s best for you, and when he says these hard things, it’s because he knows how important it is that you stay connected to him. There is no other way of eternal salvation.

Prayer:
When I let the most important people in my life come ahead of you, Lord, call me back to repentance and faith in your dear Son, Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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On the Basis of Love – September 5, 2022

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—that I appeal to you.
Philemon 1:7-10

On the Basis of Love

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Daily Devotion – September 5, 2022

Devotion based on Philemon 1:7-10

See series: Devotions

You can avoid doing things because you think you might get into trouble for doing them. And you can do things because you think you might be rewarded for doing them. You can get other people to do things simply by claiming it is the right thing to do. And you can get them to stop doing things simply by claiming that it is the wrong thing to do.

That way of approaching life is called law motivation. You don’t have to be Christian to think and act that way. It’s a natural way of thinking.

Christians have a different motivation for how they think and act. They appeal to one another on the basis of love. In today’s Bible reading, Paul appeals to his friend, Philemon, to do the right thing not simply because it’s right but because of love.

It’s the ideal for parenting. You want your children to do the right thing not because they fear punishment but because they love you. It’s the ideal for classroom teaching. You want the students to behave not because there are classroom rules to be followed but because they love their teacher.

It’s how God appeals to you. You don’t have to be good to go to heaven. It’s Jesus’ perfect goodness that is getting you there. So why be good? God appeals to you on the basis of love. Because you love him, learn what is right. Because you love him, do what is right and refrain from doing what is wrong.

It’s called gospel motivation. When you believe the gospel, you are moved to show your love to God by demonstrating love to other people. When you are not feeling it, go back to what God has done for you. You love because he first loved you.

Prayer:
Loving Lord, move my heart to show my love for you by doing what is right in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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