Have Faith in the I AM – June 25, 2020

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.”
Exodus 3:14,15

Have Faith in the I AM


Daily Devotion – June 25, 2020

Devotion based on Exodus 3:14,15

See series: Devotions

When Moses asked for God’s name, God replied by calling himself, “I AM.”

That might sound like a strange name to us. But consider how often Jesus, himself, used this name to bring comfort to the hearts of God’s children.

“I AM the Living Bread,” Jesus says to those who have been starving for forgiveness, love, and attention.

“I AM the Light of the World,” he says to all who’ve lost their sense of direction.

“I AM the Good Shepherd,” he says to the vulnerable sheep who are hurting.

“I AM the Way,” he says to all who are searching.

“I AM the Resurrection and the Life,” he says as you cry at the coffin of your friend, your dad, or your mom.

“I AM … with you, always, to the very end” of whatever path you happen to be traveling.

And wherever you are on that path, the job God has given you is exactly the one he gave to Moses. It is to remember that the person you have been doesn’t change who you are through faith in Jesus. You are God’s child. Your job is to remember that, just as God called Moses to be there for Israel, he has called you to be there for your family, friends, and neighbors—not to be the great I AM—but to point them to the great I AM.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, thank you for being consistent in who you are so that I can find regular comfort in who I am in Christ Jesus, my Savior. Amen.

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

The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey . . . So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
Exodus 3:7-10

Faith Rests in God


Daily Devotion – June 24, 2020

Devotion based on Exodus 3:7-10

See series: Devotions

No one ever intends to get to the end of the day, look in the mirror, and feel inadequate, guilty, unlovable, or unimportant. But these things still happen. And if they have ever happened to you; if you have ever stood in the middle of life’s demands feeling more scared than assured, more discouraged than confident, more vulnerable than protected, then you have something in common with Moses.

That might surprise you. After all, Moses is the man who parted the Red Sea, saw God, held the Ten Commandments, and set the Israelites free. But, when God called Moses to lead his people out of Egypt, Moses saw himself as entirely inadequate.”Who am I?” Moses asked God; which wasn’t as much a question as it was a declaration that Moses didn’t think he was able to do what God was asking.

And God agreed. That’s why he said, “I have seen their misery … I have heard them crying … I am concerned about their suffering … so I will rescue them.” God wasn’t asking Moses to be their Savior. His job was to remind Israel that they already had one. Just as you do.

You aren’t a slave to the Egyptians. But you are a slave to your sins against God and the guilt that goes with those sins. You aren’t anymore able to free yourself than Moses was able to free the Israelites. But God is. And God has. He sent his Son, Jesus, to free you from your sins by his perfect life and innocent death. May the story of Moses comfort you with the reminder that the Savior-God of Moses is your Savior-God too.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, thank you for the rescue you provide for our souls through the gift of our Savior, Jesus. Amen.

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

Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
Matthew 9:12

The Promise of Forgiveness


Daily Devotion – June 23,2020

Devotion based on Matthew 9:12

See series: Devotions

Compared to some of the other disciples, we don’t know a whole lot about Matthew. Other than the story of Jesus calling Matthew to be his disciple, Matthew’s name is only mentioned 4 times in the New Testament, and those 4 times are each a listing of the 12 disciples. He’s typically way down on the list, in the eighth or ninth spot.

What we do know about Matthew is that he had a very bad reputation in his community. You see, he was a tax collector. He collected money from his fellow countrymen on behalf of the hated Roman government. To make it worse, tax collectors were expected to overcharge and keep the extra money for themselves.

Jesus, of course, was well aware of what Matthew did for a living. And, when Jesus was scolded for eating dinner with Matthew, Jesus didn’t excuse Matthew’s sins. Instead, he announced that spiritually sick people like Matthew were precisely the people he had come to save. One wonders how Matthew felt as Jesus publicly described him as a sinner.

While we don’t know what Matthew felt in the moment, we get a glimpse into his relationship with Jesus when we discover that the name Matthew means “gift of God.” You see, when other writers in the Bible write about Matthew, they don’t call him Matthew. They call him Levi, his given name. Only Matthew calls himself Matthew. He realized that Jesus’ willingness to forgive him and associate with a sinner like him was a gift from God.

Whether or not your name is Matthew, this is also God’s gift to you.

God knows all the ways we are sick with sin. This is why he sent Jesus whose blood is the medicine that cures every sin.

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

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

[Jesus said] “For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Matthew 9:13

The Promise of Forgiveness


Daily Devotion – June 22, 2020

Devotion based on Matthew 9:13

See series: Devotions

There is a website that invites you to confess your deepest, darkest secrets. It invites you to use their website to share with the entire internet the most shameful skeletons you have in your closet. On one recent day, there were thousands of individual confessions that had been posted.

There are proven benefits to confessing our deepest secrets. Holding onto secrets about yourself, especially the bad ones, dramatically increases your stress, drastically cuts into your amount of needed rest, and radically transforms your mood and emotions into an inconsistent mess. This website was created as a way for people to unload the heaviest burdens on their hearts.

Despite that, you might still wonder why anyone would choose to openly confess their darkest secrets to the entire internet. One reason may be that all of the confessions are anonymous. People are fine with the whole internet world knowing the most intimate details of their secrets, as long as no one can ever connect those secrets with their names.

And we understand why. We easily wonder what people would think of us, and what consequences would follow, if they knew the entire truth about our past, or about the thoughts and passions we so often indulge.

But Jesus is already aware of all of them, whether or not we confess them to him. When Jesus approached a man named Matthew to call him as a disciple, he was well aware of Matthew’s deserved reputation as a “sinner.” Yet he assured him that sinners like Matthew were exactly the type of people for whom Jesus had come. He came to call sinners into God’s kingdom.

Whatever your skeletons, whatever your secrets, whatever your sins, you don’t need to be afraid of them. Jesus calls you to confess those sins to him, knowing that he offers full and free forgiveness.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, as you hear me confess my deepest sins, draw my eyes to the Savior who forgave them. Amen.

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

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made


Daily Devotion – June 21, 2020

Devotion based on Psalm 118:24

See series: Devotions

When I was a youngster, my father bought a poster with the Bible passage for today printed underneath a picture of an 18-month-old child. The child was eating spaghetti. And of course, as little ones eat, they don’t seem to think they’ll get the full nutrients unless they try to absorb some of it through their skin. So, this little one had taken the bowl of spaghetti (yes, noodles and sauce) and had dumped it over his head!

Of course, after beginning to “wear” the spaghetti, the child discovered that it wasn’t as pleasant an experience as he had anticipated. So the child was now sitting there, covered with spaghetti and sauce, and crying his eyes out. And at the bottom, it read: “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Yes, life can be messy. Unfortunately, often we cause the messes ourselves, because of our own sinfulness.

Yet, we rejoice!

How can this be? For one reason—Jesus. Jesus’ death washed my sins away. And Jesus’ resurrection guarantees that I, too, will be getting out of the grave someday. Guaranteed. No doubt about it. I WILL be going to heaven, because of Jesus’ wonderful work. And as long as we live, there will never be a day on which Jesus hasn’t died, on which Jesus hasn’t risen. It’s true. It’s done. We rejoice!

Even when there’s some spaghetti sauce running down our faces!

Prayer:
Thank you, Jesus, that I can rejoice and be glad this day because it is a day that you have made. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Know Your Need – June 20, 2020

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23

Know Your Need


Daily Devotion – June 20, 2020

Devotion based on Romans 3:23

See series: Devotions

In medicine, whether the medical professional is dealing with an afflicting disease or an addiction to some substance, often patients deny that they are sick and in need of help. This kind of reaction is not limited to people with physical or mental problems. It is also typical of human beings when confronted with the truth about their spiritual condition. What is that condition? The Bible tells us, “All have sinned.”

Sadly, denial of the problem means a failure to recognize the need that we each have as sinners—namely the need to be forgiven. If there is a malady worse than sin, it is this, the denial that I am a sinner in need of a Savior.

“All have sinned,” wrote Paul. “and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This is the truth of our spiritual condition before God. If we claim to be good enough to stand before God on our own, “we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:8).

There is only one way to have a relationship with God. Through Jesus. He lived a perfect life, fulfilling the holy standard of God’s will. In love for us, God credits Jesus’ holy life to us. And what is more, Jesus died innocently. God counted Jesus’ death as full payment for the penalty of our sin. God has declared us holy through Jesus and has freed us from sin’s terror.

So, know yourself. Know your sin. Know your great need for Jesus. Like me and everyone else, your sins separate you from God. But like me and everyone else, Jesus came to save you from those sins. He is our perfect Savior!

Prayer:
Jesus, help me overcome my natural inclination that I can make myself right with God. I know that I need you. Trusting in your sacrifice for the forgiveness of my sins, I am proud to call you my Savior! Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Lots of Light – June 19, 2020

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
2 Peter 1:20–2:3

Lots of Light


Daily Devotion – June 19, 2020

Devotion based on 2 Peter 1:20–2:3

See series: Devotions

Depending on where you live in the Northern Hemisphere, today and tomorrow are probably the days with the most sunlight for the entire year. Where I live, there’s supposed to be fifteen hours and twenty minutes between sunrise and sunset today. I hope it’s not cloudy. I love the sun!

I do not love the darkness. I associate darkness with people being able to do things in secret. In the sunlight, things are out in the open, but in the dark, people can get away with more. When it comes to false religious teachers, I imagine that they like to operate secretly, in the dark, fabricating stories and denying the truth.

How can I know if a particular religious message is true or false? Shine a light on it! Compare it to what God has said in the Bible.

And how do I know that I can trust what is written in the Bible? One of the Bible writers, Peter, assures me that what is written in the Bible was not made up by human beings. Yes, human beings wrote down the words. But God made sure that every word was true. Peter says that he and the other Bible writers spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

I can’t beat that method of enlightenment. Peter and the other Bible writers have told me all about Jesus, the Son of God, my Savior. I love the Son!

Prayer:
Lord God, your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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No Boasting – June 18, 2020

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
Romans 3:27,28

No Boasting


Daily Devotion – June 18, 2020

Devotion based on Romans 3:27,28

See series: Devotions

God lives in an absolutely perfect place called heaven. It is full of happiness and pleasure, with nothing unclean or impure. It goes on forever, and God wants you to join him there. So he tells you, “Be perfect and holy as I the Lord am perfect and holy.”

If you could be that holy, you’d have something to boast about! It would be amazing to keep every commandment of God perfectly all the time for your entire life. God does say that if you do that, you can go to heaven. That is what Paul the apostle refers to as “the law that requires works.”

Unfortunately, you have not been able to do that. Don’t kid yourself. God knows everything, and he sees that no one is perfect. When he takes a close look at your life, he sees that you have nothing to boast about. Just when you think you have kept one law; you realize that you have neglected three more.

So you are in trouble. You deserve to be separated from God and his blessings forever in a place the Bible calls hell. But God doesn’t want that to happen! So he sent his Son, Jesus, to become a human being. Jesus never did anything wrong. Every thought was perfect, every word was perfect, every deed was perfect. Jesus never neglected his duties, not even once. He deserved to go to heaven!

But instead of taking the heaven that he deserved, Jesus took the hell that you deserved. Then he said that he would credit his perfect life to you. Through faith in Jesus, you have his perfection credited as your own. That’s what Paul the apostle calls “the law that requires faith.”

You don’t have to justify your life to God. He has justified you by faith in Jesus apart from the works of the law. You have nothing to boast about, but you still go to heaven through faith in Jesus.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, lead me to trust you rather than boasting about myself. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Make the Signs Obvious – June 17, 2020

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Make the Signs Obvious


Daily Devotion – June 17, 2020

Devotion based on Deuteronomy 11:18-21

See series: Devotions

I was going door-to-door, telling people about Jesus in a community in Florida. Every home I stopped at had a little metal plaque nailed to the doorframe. It had Hebrew letters on it. Those little signs made it obvious that Jewish people lived in that home, and they had read the words of today’s reading from the Bible, “Write these words of mine on the doorframes of your houses.” Many Jewish people take these words quite literally. They nail God’s Word to the doorframes of their houses.

But it is clear from the Bible that God doesn’t want his people to simply nail his Word to the frames around the doors of our houses. He wants us to have his Word in our hearts and minds. He wants us to be talking about them all the time, at home or away, at night or by day. And he definitely wants us to be teaching them to our children.

Why are these words so important? Because in his Word, he gives us the words and promises about Jesus, our Savior. Jesus is the way to heaven. Knowing that through him, we have forgiveness and eternal life is the most comforting truth imaginable. No wonder our gracious God wants us to keep his Word close to us!

Prayer:
Dear Lord, may your Word always fill my mind and heart. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Amazing Teaching – June 16, 2020

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Matthew 7:28,29

Amazing Teaching


Daily Devotion – June 16, 2020

Devotion based on Matthew 7:28,29

See series: Devotions

Some religious leaders teach a list of things that you have to do to get to heaven. At first, their teaching sounds attractive, because the things on the list are usually pretty good. The religious leaders talk about prayer, honoring God, and doing good things for the people around you. It’s clear that those are great things to do!

But if you dig a little deeper, things get murkier. When you ask how often or how seriously you have to do those things to get to heaven, these teachers have to start making up answers. The list of laws gets more complicated, more detailed, and weirdly less certain. Will you go to hell rather than heaven if you do something four times, not five, or if you get distracted when you are doing it?

The people listening to Jesus teach were used to hearing about all the laws they had to keep in order to go to heaven. They were used to asking the teachers of the law about the little details. They were used to hearing the teachers of the law argue among themselves about how to answer.

Along came Jesus. He taught God’s law. He taught it so clearly and strongly that there was no chance anyone could do what he was describing. People were amazed.

Then Jesus made them even more amazed. He said that he would do what no one else could do. He would keep every one of God’s laws perfectly. And then he would die to pay for the sins of people who could not keep the law perfectly. Jesus told everyone that they would go to heaven by believing in him, not by keeping any laws. This is why the followers of Jesus have such comfort. They know they have God’s forgiveness. They know they are headed to heaven. They know this because their forgiveness and eternal life do not depend on their obedience to God’s laws but on Jesus’ obedience. They are his free gift. Isn’t it amazing!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching me the good news that through you I am forgiven and have been given eternal life. Amen.

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

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Matthew 7:24-27

Built on the Rock


Daily Devotion – June 15, 2020

Devotion based on Matthew 7:24-27

See series: Devotions

When we bought our house, we thought that the yard looked pretty good. We liked how the water drained on the property, and we were impressed by the landscaping. But one of our new neighbors scared us. “Check the foundation of your house for cracks,” he said. “We saw the builder bring in a lot of fill dirt before he built, and we have always worried about your new home’s stability.”

We checked the foundation. No cracks. We have lived in the home for ten years. So far, so good.

How about your house? Is it built on rocks or sand? How about your life? How stable is your foundation?

Jesus said that you need a solid foundation to withstand the storms of this life. If your foundation is built on sand, your life will come crashing down during stormy times. If your foundation is built on rock, you’ll be able to withstand life’s storms.

How do you build your life’s foundation on rock? Jesus is very clear about that. He tells you, “Hear these words of mine! Put them into practice!” The words of Jesus are what he says in the Bible. Those words include, “I am your Savior. You aren’t good enough on your own to get to heaven. But I was good enough to get you to heaven.” Trust Jesus. No foundation can be more solid than that, both for life right now and for eternal life in heaven.

Prayer:
Jesus, keep me firmly grounded, trusting your words for life now and forever. Amen.

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

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
Colossians 1:21,22

A Wrong Relationship Made Right


Daily Devotion – June 14, 2020

Devotion based on Colossians 1:21,22

See series: Devotions

How would you rate your relationship with God on a scale of 1 to 10? How would GOD rate it? Many people never bother to ask God what he has to say about his relationship with them. They think it is their prerogative to determine whether their relationship with God is good, bad, or ugly. Some think everything is okay between them and God. Others think God is out to get them and wants nothing good for them.

What does GOD have to say? First, he tells us that our evil behavior alienated us from him. God cannot and will not accept sin. We have sinned. Our evil behavior made us God’s enemies. We don’t want to hear this, but whether we want to hear it or not is irrelevant. God has declared it to be true.

But God does not want to be our enemy. He loves us. So he sent his Son, Jesus, to suffer and die for our sins. All of our evil behavior was washed away by Jesus’ blood on the cross. Now God sees us as holy, sinless, perfect people. We are no longer God’s enemies. We have been reconciled to him.

Now, how would you rate your relationship with God on a scale of 1 to 10? Thank God, that through Jesus, he has taken you from a real 0 to a 10!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I know that without your help I would be alienated from God because of my sins. I can never thank you enough for reconciling me to my Maker. Give me peace and joy this day, knowing that I am no longer God’s enemy but his beloved and forgiven child. Amen.

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

The God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11

To the Anxious


Daily Devotion – June 13, 2020

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 13:11

See series: Devotions

Scott Stossel is a highly respected journalist. He is a graduate of Harvard. His abilities and work ethic have brought him to the point where he now serves as editor of The Atlantic magazine. Those who work with him have often observed how he is able to display a calm demeanor, especially in times of crisis.

It came as quite a shock to many of his colleagues, therefore, when Stossel wrote a book entitled, My Age of Anxiety. In his book, Stossel confesses that extreme anxiety often grips him. He writes, “On ordinary days, doing ordinary things—reading a book, lying in bed, talking on the phone, sitting in a meeting, playing tennis—I have thousands of times been stricken by a pervasive sense of…dread.”

After the book’s release, it became clear that Stossel was not alone. My Age of Anxiety spent weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Its popularity only confirmed what others were saying. Psychology Today has called anxiety “one of our modern plagues.” A recent report estimates that some 40 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, with almost 7 million suffering a level of anxiety characterized by “persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things.”

For many of us, this is not news. For many of you, severe anxiety—anxiety over past regrets, present problems, future outcomes—threatens to grip you every day.

What to do with such worry? What to do with such dread and so much fear?

First of all, confess to the Lord. Confess to the Lord that severe anxiety is a temptation into which you can often fall. Remember that Jesus died for your every sin—including your sins of worry. Take a deep breath. Bask in his forgiveness.

Then, rest on his promises. “The God of…peace will be with you,” Paul wrote. In Psalm 139, David reminds us that our God of peace is in front of us, behind us, around us. His right hand “holds [us] fast.”

When anxious thoughts trouble you deeply, look intently to your Savior God, who is your peace permanently.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, so often I give in to anxiety. Forgive me. Wash me in your blood. Surround me in your peace. Empower me to trust in you, my Savior. Amen.

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

By the seventh day, God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Genesis 2:2,3

A Day of Rest


Daily Devotion – June 12, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 2:2,3

See series: Devotions

The universe had been created in a week. What a week! Oceans were filled. Planets were established in orbit. Thousands and thousands of species of plants and animals had been spoken into existence. The light switches of countless stars had been flipped on. Mankind had been carefully crafted out of the dust of the ground.

After a week like that, we would all need a break—maybe some time on the couch or a nap in our hammock outside. God rested too, though not for reasons we might think. Our almighty God was not worn out. He wasn’t looking to put his feet up. He did not need a moment to regain his strength. Rather, he rested because he wanted to establish a pattern. God rested because he knew we would need it.

That is why he blessed the seventh day and made it holy. He knew that we were going to need a spiritual rest. After each week of being hounded by the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, God knew we would need refreshment. So, he set aside a day out of his week to set the pattern. He intended that we would follow his lead. Our God blessed the seventh day for our good. He wants us to worship and rest in his Word. He wants the message of forgiveness to bring strength and assurance to our troubled hearts in this weary world.

Resist the temptation to tell yourself that you’re fine not being in church. Fight the idea that you don’t need to be in God’s house regularly. There, God meets with us to feed our souls with his Word, nourishes us, and gives us strength for the coming week. There, we hear the wonderful news that our sins are forgiven in Jesus.

Prayer:
Dear God, forgive me for the times I have neglected you and your Word. Help me to seek the rest that only you can provide. Bless me and my family as we make time to be in your house. Amen.

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

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them.
Genesis 1:27

Created by God


Daily Devotion – June 11, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 1:27

See series: Devotions

What a blessing it is to be created by God! And how humbling it is to realize how far short we have fallen from the perfect creatures he intended us to be. The Bible tells us we were created in God’s image and describes that image as perfect, holy, and righteous. And as we look in the mirror, we realize that no longer describes us.

When we look at the mirror of God’s commandments, perfection is not what stares back at us. When we consider what God wills for us to do, what do we find when we look at our lives? Sure, there are some outward signs of morality as we are kind to people, and we volunteer for things in our community. But underneath the surface, what do we see? Perhaps some hateful, unkind thoughts toward a sibling or coworker. Terrible language is thrown around as we work or mutter under our breath. Then there are the things that lurk in our hearts that we don’t like to acknowledge: greed, lust, selfishness, and anger. These things come out all too often in our words and actions as well. God’s image? Not so much.

That’s when we need to look to Jesus. In him, we find everything we are not: kindness, selflessness, generosity, contentment, a complete lack of pride and ego. Our Savior lived a perfect life in our place. He did everything that you and I have failed to do. He also avoided every sin and temptation that we fall into. Jesus is our perfect Savior and supplies everything that we lack.

And by the miracle of the cross, when God looks at us, he sees Jesus in our place. Through faith in him, Jesus’ righteousness is now our righteousness. His victory is our victory. Jesus has restored us and brought us back to God. He ensured that we will go to heaven, where we will live forever with that image of God fully restored!

Prayer:
Dear Savior, forgive me for all my sins. Thank you for living a perfect life in my place and earning salvation for me. Help me to know that in you, God sees me as righteous. Help me to live as his child today. Amen.

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

And there was evening, and there was morning.
Genesis 1:31

A New Day


Daily Devotion – June 10, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 1:31

See series: Devotions

As we read through Genesis chapter one, we are greeted with this comforting refrain. “And there was evening, and there was morning.” So much happened in that first week, but there was one constant: each day was a new day.

That’s a relief, isn’t it? With so much happening in our world—so much that seems to threaten the very existence of the planet—don’t we need to hear that same comforting refrain? “And there was evening, and there was morning.”

Make no mistake, each day can be difficult. Days can be filled with pandemics, cancer treatments, and bouts of depressions. Days can be filled with angry customers, job losses, and bill collectors. Days can be filled with disappointment, frustration, and exhaustion. In fact, it has been like that throughout history. A look back will show us that there have been many pandemics, wars, and economic downturns. History is full of people just like us—people who struggle with all kinds of things.

But do you know what else history is full of? God keeping his promises. As each century passes by, there is one constant: “And there was evening, and there was morning.” God continues to be in control. He continues to watch over his people, and he continues to keep his promises. He will continue to give us what we need for each day and bless us with a new day—until the day he brings us home to heaven.

God has proved his faithfulness to you by sending Jesus as your Savior. True to his word, he has forgiven you, saved you, and given you eternal life. With each passing day, he will keep his promises to you in Jesus.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, heavenly Father, thank you for the comforting reminder that you will bless me each day. With each new day, help me to trust you more and more. Amen.

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

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Genesis 1:31

Perfect


Daily Devotion – June 9, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 1:31

See series: Devotions

Can you even imagine what perfection looks like? We often speak of having the perfect wedding, the perfect gift, or the perfect vacation. But let’s be honest, we have no idea what perfection really looks like. Especially now. A virus continues to bring our world to its knees. Sin continues to turn people against each other, whether they are husband and wife, Democrat and Republican, boss and employee. All around our world is breaking down. Death and decay show up everywhere.

It wasn’t always like that. At the end of six days, as God looked around at the beautiful and wonderful creation he had made, he could only come to one conclusion: “Perfect!” There was no sin to be found. And with no sin, there were none of its effects—no disease or death. Creation was not breaking down. People were not at odds with each other. Everything was in perfect harmony.

What would God say now as he looks down and sees all of this? Certainly, none of us would expect him to proclaim: “And God saw that it was very good.” But there is good news. God wanted us to have that perfection we have lost through sin. God had a way to fix what was broken, and it was “perfect.”

That way to perfection is Jesus. He came to live a perfect life in our place and to die an innocent death for us. Through his life, death, and resurrection, you and I now have a way out of this sinful world and a way to get back to the perfect life of harmony with God in a place he has provided for us. The way to this perfect heaven is through faith in Jesus. Our Savior will guide us through life in this sinful world, and in the end, will take us home to heaven. And once there, we will all look around and say, “Perfect!”

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the victory you have won for me. Help me to know and believe that in you, I have the answer to this sinful world. In you, I have eternal life in heaven. Give me patience and trust as I wait for the day when you will take me home. Amen!

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

Then God said, “. . . and it was so.”
Genesis 1:29,30

God Speaks with Authority


Daily Devotion – June 8, 2020

Devotion based on Genesis 1:29,30

See series: Devotions

We crave words that come with authority. We seek definitive answers. We want assurance, comfort, and confidence. And all those things are so hard to find in this world! The doctor speaks, not with authority, but with percentages, as he gives the odds of how successful a procedure might be. The weatherman speaks, not with authority, but with educated guesses, as he attempts to describe what the weather will be like so you can plan your weekend. The friend speaks, not with authority, but with good intentions, as she says she hopes you get better soon.

God’s Word is different. Genesis chapter one reminds us again and again that when God speaks, things happen. God speaks, and his word is fulfilled—every time. God doesn’t give us percentages, educated guesses, or wishful thinking. He gives us concrete, dependable truth. What a comfort that is! What a refreshing change of pace that is in this ever-changing world!

That is especially helpful when it comes to our eternal future. Because of our sins, we were all lost and destined for an eternity of separation from God and his blessings. We needed to be saved and could not pin our hopes on someone else’s best guess. Playing the percentages was not going to give us any relief. All our friend’s good intentions could not wish us into heaven. God’s Word steps in and provides assurance and reliability: “God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God promised to send his Son, Jesus, to take our sins away by dying in our place. And just as we see in Genesis chapter one, every time God speaks, things happen.

As promised, God sent Jesus to be our Savior. To earn our salvation and to guarantee our eternal future as we put our trust in him. When it comes to eternal life in heaven, God speaks with authority. His promises are true. Put your trust in his Word.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for speaking with authority and giving me confidence. Help me to know and believe that in Jesus, I have eternal life. Amen.

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

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:14

God Is Always With You


Daily Devotion – June 7, 2020

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 13:14

See series: Devotions

It’s not easy getting up in the morning knowing that if you make the slightest mistake at work, your boss is going to jump down your throat in front of everybody. It’s not easy getting up in the morning wondering if today is the day your boyfriend is going to leave you because he’s fallen in love with someone else. It’s not easy getting up in the morning, dreading another lonely day. (Looks like it’s going to be another Lean Cuisine in front of the TV tonight.) It’s not easy getting up in the morning fearing your medical test results, your ADHD son’s future, or whether or not you’ll have enough money for this month’s groceries, gas, and mortgage.

It may not be easy to get up in the morning, but God gives you every reason to get up. Your boss may point out your every failure, but Jesus gives you his grace and forgives your every sin. Your significant other may dump you but God the Father promises his eternal love. You might not feel like you have any real friends, but the Holy Spirit gives you his fellowship and friendship 24/7. You may have numerous fears regarding your health, family, and finances, but God blesses you with a peace that is beyond all understanding. In our Scripture verse today, the Apostle Paul reminds you that you are truly blessed. Here it is again: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.”

Blessed with the grace, love, and fellowship of God, you can get up every morning knowing that God is always with you.

Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for assuring me of your continual presence in my life. No matter what the circumstances, I can count on your grace, love, and fellowship. Amen.

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

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”
Joel 2:28,29

Spirit in Abundance


Daily Devotion – June 6, 2020

Devotion based on Joel 2:28,29

See series: Devotions

On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out. The gathered disciples had flames over their heads and were able to speak and communicate in languages they had never learned. What the prophet Joel had foreseen came true in a very powerful display.

Perhaps you’re longing for the same kind of outpouring. You wish that you could have such visible and tangible signs to know God is keeping his promise. Yet, what Joel saw, what God promised, is happening every single day.

In the Old Testament, there was a certain group of people—the prophets—who received an extra measure of the Spirit, an outpouring, where God revealed his Word to them. The prophets’ role was to take that special revelation and share it with the people. In these verses, Joel saw a time when the role of a prophet would change. The Lord God revealed there would come a time when he would pour out his Spirit not just on the prophets, but on all people.

But you haven’t seen visions or received dreams from God, and neither have I. So how is God doing this today? God pours out his Spirit through his Word, the Bible.

For it’s in the Bible that we learn about our Savior, Jesus. It’s in the Bible that we hear all that Jesus has done for us. It’s in the Bible that we learn that this good news is our privilege to share. Every time the words of the Bible are shared, God’s Spirit is being poured out in abundance.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, continue to pour out your Holy Spirit so that men and women everywhere may share the good news of Jesus, our Savior. Amen.

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

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 2:42

Devoted to the Word


Daily Devotion – June 5, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:42

See series: Devotions

The members of the Jerusalem church had heard the apostle Peter proclaim the good news that Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had crucified, was the promised Messiah and their Savior. Through God’s Word, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, who convicted them of their sin and convinced them of their Savior. Their sins were forgiven. Heaven was their home. Their hearts were filled with joy.

We are told, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching.” The Word of God was their delight. It was the one thing they needed. It was more precious to them “than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (Psalm 119:72). It was their dearest treasure. Therefore, they not only held it in the highest regard, but they also put it into practice. They lived in the joy of the gospel. In their worship, fellowship, witnessing, praying, love, sharing, and offerings, they thanked God for the blessing of his Word.

God’s Word has not changed. It is still the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. The way of salvation has not changed. Jesus Christ is the only Savior this world will ever have. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Scripture continues to be the only true source for direction in this life and hope for eternity. Where repentant, blood-bought souls gather around the Word of God, regard it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it–there the power of the Holy Spirit will be present to lead us into all truth and the joy of the gospel.

Prayer:
Lord, help me to be devoted to the hearing of your Word, to fellowship with your people, and to prayer that is pleasing in your ears. Amen.

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

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 2:37,38

A Change of Heart


Daily Devotion – June 4, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:37,38

See series: Devotions

“Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Luke 23:18). On Good Friday, the hateful crowds chanted those words to Pilate. Fifty days later, they had had a change of heart. Now they were terrified. They wished they never had cried out for Jesus’ death.

God’s Word caused the people of the Pentecost crowd to change their hearts. The Holy Spirit, through Peter’s words, had changed the people’s attitudes about Jesus. Now they realized he was the Son of God, and they were guilty of condemning him to death. “What shall we do?” they pleaded. Is there some way we can appease God?

Our natural, sinful hostility may not be as blatant as that of the angry crowd on Good Friday. But make no mistake about it. It is just as real, just as damnable. The critical questioning of how God rules our lives, the lack of complete trust in his care, the thoughts of gaining independence from God—all these are signs that in us lives the same sinful flesh that lived in the people who killed Jesus.

God gives us a change of heart through the good news that Jesus’ death is the payment for sin that we needed. He appeased the wrath of God. Our guilt is removed. We are led to trust Jesus as our living Savior and honor him as our gracious Lord. And with hearts changed by the power of God’s Word, we strive to glorify and serve Jesus in all we do.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I am sorry for the sins I have committed against you. Have mercy on me. For your sake, forgive me and grant me a new heart committed to following your will for my life. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Christ Lives to Reign – June 3, 2020

“God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. . . . Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
Acts 2:32,36

Christ Lives to Reign


Daily Devotion – June 3, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:32,36

See series: Devotions

King Cyrus of Persia, King David of Judah, Caesar Augustus of Rome—these are three of the countless people who have ruled over the centuries. Some kings and kingdoms lasted for generations; some were short-lived. As different as they were from each other, they all had one thing in common—they did not last.

How uncertain life would be if all we had to lean on were these passing kings and kingdoms? Our immortal souls need something more. How eagerly, then, we listen to the words of the apostle Peter! He tells us of a far greater King. This King is the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter tells us of a far greater kingdom. Jesus’ kingdom will last for eternity.

It didn’t always seem this way, though. Jesus’ enemies plotted for years to kill Jesus. Finally, they carried out their plans and crucified him. Above his bloody head hung the inscription: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37).

Yet Jesus was different. Years before he died, he said, “Destroy this temple [this body of mine], and I will raise it again in three days” (John 2:19). On Easter Sunday, he did just that. His disciples ran to an empty grave. He had risen. He was still King, and his kingdom was still intact.

Today let Peter’s words give you strength. Be assured of this: your King lives to reign. He the Lord of your heart. He is your eternal source of forgiveness and hope.

Prayer:
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for reminding me today that you are my king and are ruling all things. Use this truth to comfort and calm me. Amen.

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

“This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.”
Acts 2:23

An Important Job to Do


Daily Devotion – June 2, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:23

See series: Devotions

The world is full of different jobs. Each comes with different requirements and descriptions. When looking for a job, people will want to find one they are suited for and that they will enjoy doing. Some jobs require special skills or abilities to perform them properly.

Jesus’ Father gave him a unique job. He was sent to serve as the Savior of the world. Though innocent, he was condemned to death and crucified. But all this happened according to God’s purpose and foreknowledge. God used the horrible determination of wicked people for his own wonderful purpose—to save us from our sins.

This is good news for us because, as God’s creatures, we have a job of our own to do. We were created by our Father to glorify and honor him with godly living. However, we fail miserably at this job. Having failed, we deserve to suffer what God’s justice says our sins deserve. But, instead of giving us what our sins deserve, our merciful God saves us through the sufferings and death of his own Son on the cross.

We now have a new purpose in our lives. Our number-one job is to glorify and honor Jesus, who willingly died on the cross for us. We live to thank God, who gave us forgiveness and eternal hope.

God bless you in doing your job for him today!

Prayer:
Lord, help me today to do the job you have given me—to glorify and honor you. Amen.

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

“How is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?”
Acts 2:8

A Different Language


Daily Devotion – June 1, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:8

See series: Devotions

Learning a foreign language is a long process and hard work. If you have ever tried it, you know. But a long time ago, on the day of Pentecost, a miraculous thing happened. The Holy Spirit’s power came upon the Apostles, giving them the ability to speak fluently and instantly in languages they had never learned. Amazing!

There was another time in the Bible that languages played a prominent role. People plotted to defy God’s plan to have them spread out over the whole earth and populate it. They began to build a great tower as a symbol of their power and as a rallying point to hold them together. But for their own good, the Lord interrupted their efforts, confused their languages, and put an end to their defiance. (See Genesis 11:1-9.)

Contrast that with what happened on Pentecost. This time languages did not play a role in God’s anger over a defiant people, but rather in his merciful love for all. People from at least 15 different countries all heard the wonders of God in their own native languages. Instead of using language to separate these people, God endowed his disciples with a gift that drew the people together.

Pentecost demonstrated that “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19). Despite all their differences, these 15 groups of people were very similar—they were all sinners. In languages they could understand, God communicated to them the good news that their sins were paid for by Jesus’ death.

Perhaps we will meet someone today who speaks a different language. If so, our first reaction might be: How different this person is from us. Remembering Pentecost, however, let us think this way: How similar this person is to us—someone who needs Jesus and someone for whom the Lord Jesus lived, died, and rose again.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for demonstrating your mercy and power on the day of Pentecost. Give me a heart that sees every person’s need to know about your mercy and your power. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Perplexing Work of the Spirit – May 31, 2020

Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Acts 2:12

The Perplexing Work of the Spirit


Daily Devotion – May 31, 2020

Devotion based on Acts 2:12

See series: Devotions

The crowd didn’t know what to think.

Picture it this way: You are in this crowd. You are a member of the Jewish faith. You have traveled a great distance to reach Jerusalem, a place where the language is different from your own. You are there to celebrate the annual Jewish festival of Pentecost. Suddenly, in this crowd of people, you hear something that grabs your attention. You hear the voice of a man speaking to you in your own language. What’s confusing is that all the people around you—no matter what language they speak—are experiencing the same thing. At that moment, in that slice of time, you don’t know what to think.

On that day of Pentecost, that was the perplexing work of the Holy Spirit. On that day, the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples of Jesus to speak in languages they had never studied. He did this to proclaim a message that everyone there needed to understand. He did this to proclaim Jesus Christ.

The work of the Holy Spirit is still perplexing.

Go to any place where the good news of Jesus is clearly present. Why do people take the time to come? Why do people go to the trouble? Why do people often plan their calendars around the opportunity to soak up the message of Jesus Christ with others?

It’s all because of the perplexing work of the Holy Spirit.

In the eyes of the world, nothing so plain as the gospel should be so powerful or so life-changing. Nothing so plain as the gospel should have such an impact on so many souls.

But that’s the thing about the message of full forgiveness through faith in Christ. It’s the very tool the Holy Spirit uses to change hearts forever.

However, don’t be perplexed by the perplexing work of the Holy Spirit. Instead, rejoice in it.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, you are a worker of miracles. You use the message of the gospel to bring us to Christ and keep us in Christ. Empower us to marvel in thankfulness for what you do. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Give Glory to God – May 30, 2020

[Jesus said] “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”
John 17:4

Give Glory to God


Daily Devotion – May 30, 2020

Devotion based on John 17:4

See series: Devotions

When our favorite team enjoys success, isn’t it great how we get to share in that glory, even though we didn’t earn or deserve it? “Hey, Mike, your Brewers are really having a great season. You guys are playing some great ball. Way to go!” We are eager to return that undeserved and unearned glory to our team by cheering for them and telling others about their victories and successes.

Our God is glorious and awesome! He is the Creator and Preserver of the universe. Most glorious of all, he is the Savior of all mankind. There is nobody like him.

He has graciously allowed us to share in the glory of his love by bringing us to trust and rely in him, even though at one time, we were dead in our sins and unbelief. We didn’t earn his love and surely didn’t deserve it. Amazing grace!

Jesus gave glory to his heavenly Father by his death on the cross. Jesus’ death, while bearing the sins of the world, has reconciled God and sinners together. The doors to heaven and eternal life are open for all. That means they are open for you, too!

Strive to give God glory every day as you live for him and seek to do his will for your life. As the Bible says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for bringing glory to the Father by dying for my sins. Thank you also for leading me to trust in you. Help me to glorify your name by all that I say and do. In your name, I pray. Amen.

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

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
John 17:1-3

Jesus Prays for You


Daily Devotion – May 29, 2020

Devotion based on John 17:1-3

See series: Devotions

My prayers contain a lot of different people and things that I love. They are about the things that I think about the most and the things for which I am overwhelmingly grateful.

Did you know that the night before his death, you were a part of Jesus’ prayer? That’s right. With everything else on his mind as he prepared to die for the sins of the world . . . you were on his mind. You were on his mind because what he was about to do he did for you. He knew he needed strength to endure the intense suffering necessary to secure your salvation. So, he asked his heavenly Father to give him that strength. He also prayed that you would learn about what he had done for you and that you would come to believe that your sins are forgiven because of what he did.

It is always nice to hear that someone is praying for you. When you share a challenge you are facing–an illness, a loss, a concern—and a friend or family member says, “I’m praying for you.” It shows they care, and it’s a comforting thing to know. And it is comforting to think of God listening to and answering their prayers.

Now think of Jesus praying for you nearly two thousand years ago. Isn’t it remarkable? Whatever illness, loss, or concern you are facing, take comfort knowing that Jesus is aware of it, and cares enough to pray for you.

Prayer:
Righteous Father, thank you for glorifying Jesus through his death and resurrection. Help me to know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. Amen

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

Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17,18

An Eternal Perspective


Daily Devotion – May 28, 2020

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 4:17,18

See series: Devotions

Imagine a regular day. If you are awake for 17 hours of that day, that means you have a little over a thousand minutes awake. Imagine for one minute of that day, something bad happened. Your car wouldn’t start. You got into a fight with a friend. You felt pain in part of your body. Then after that minute, nothing bad happened. In fact, for every minute of the rest of that day, only great things happened. You were able to eat all your favorite foods. You spent your time with people you love. Everything worked the way it was supposed to.

At the end of this day, how would you describe it? When you thought back, what would you focus on? Would you think about that single bad minute? Probably not. Instead, you probably couldn’t stop talking about the other thousand minutes and all the great things that happened. In fact, maybe even that single bad minute wouldn’t seem so bad in light of everything else.

So far, 2020 doesn’t seem to be a great year for a lot of us. There may be some real problems you are working through and some sadness that you feel. God wants you to find hope in the certainty that these troubles are only momentary. He wants you to give it an eternal perspective. The temporary troubles of 2020 cannot compare with the never-ending years of perfect joy every follower of Jesus will experience in heaven.

Your troubles are real, but God reminds you that from a perspective of eternity, they are light and momentary. Your time with Jesus will be perfect and forever. Fix your eyes on that eternity.

Prayer:
Eternal God, help me to focus not on my earthly troubles but on the eternity I will have with you. Amen.

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

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Minimize Your Anxiety


Daily Devotion – May 27, 2020

Devotion based on 1 Peter 5:7

See series: Devotions

Minimalism is sweeping the world right now. From buying tiny homes to decluttering their homes, people are getting rid of their stuff. One expert, in particular, Marie Kondo, has sold millions of books, has her own TV show, and has made countless appearances speaking on the joys of minimizing and getting rid of things you don’t need. She encourages people to hold an object and if it doesn’t “spark joy” in their life, they should get rid of it.

What if you could practice minimalism not just with your stuff but with everything in your life?

Long before tiny homes or Marie Kondo, God was encouraging his people to practice minimalism—not physical minimalism but spiritual minimalism. Specifically, he told his people to get rid of anything that made them anxious–anything that kept them awake at night. God wanted his people to declutter all those things that made them wring their hands with worry.

In God’s minimalism, we don’t just take stuff and throw it away. While that may work for that old ski equipment, it doesn’t work for those things that make us anxious. Instead, God invites us to cast those anxieties onto him. He allows us to take those things that make us anxious, give them to him, and let him take care of it. Instead of worrying, God says we can trust him to arrange everything for us.

We can cast our anxieties on God because we know that he cares for us. Not just that he cares about us but that he cares for us. He guides us, watches over us, and provides for us. We can give God anything that makes us anxious because he is actively working all things in our lives to make sure that we are cared for.

What is causing you to worry today? What doesn’t “spark joy” in your life? Give it to God because he cares for you.

Prayer:
Father in heaven, help me to give to you everything that makes me anxious that I may rest in your care. Amen

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