Little Things for Big Things – Family Devotion – August 4, 2021

Read: 2 Kings 4:42-44

A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said.

“How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked.

But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.
2 Kings 4:42-44

Little Things for Big Things

 

Family Devotion – August 4, 2021

Devotion based on 2 Kings 4:42-44

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

It was a terrible tragedy when Anthony’s wife died. Everyone in town heard about the car accident. Everyone knew it would be tough for Anthony to raise two children all by himself. Everyone was shocked and sad about what happened. But little six-year-old Carly knew just what to do.

Carly grabbed some construction paper and her favorite markers, and she got to work drawing. Carly drew a hill with an open doorway (it was supposed to be an empty tomb), a bright sun shining in the sky, and three stick people standing next to the hill. (The stick people were supposed to be Anthony and his two children.) Above each person Carly drew a heart with a cross in it. The picture said, “Jesus lives and Jesus loves you.”

It was just a little picture drawn with a crayon, but it was so powerful. When Anthony and his children saw it, they were filled with tears and with joy. Carly’s picture helped to give them peace because it reminded them that their loved one was now in heaven. Anthony took a picture of Carly’s artwork with his phone and posted it online.

Within a few days, the picture went viral. Carly’s creation had been viewed and shared over a million times! People all over the world heard about Carly’s loving picture. But even more amazing than that, over a million people heard about Jesus as the Savior who rose from the dead and conquered sin and death. God used a little thing for a really big thing!

In today’s short story from the Bible, a man brought 20 loaves of bread to the prophet Elisha. It was a little act of love, but God used that little thing for a really big thing! He fed a hundred people with it! This short story reminds us of how Jesus did a similar miracle (but much bigger!) when he fed over 5,000 people.

All of these stories remind us of God’s incredible power. The Lord can use simple, little things to do big things. Jesus used a manger as his resting place when he was born. He used a cross as the place to die for your sins. He used a tomb as the place to rise in victory over death. Now Jesus wants to use “little” old you and me to do big things in his kingdom.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for showing your big power through little things in this world. Continue to use that power in me to bring big blessings to other people. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What did the man in the story bring to Elisha to feed over 100 people?
  • What are your favorite foods that God provides for you?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • How does God provide food for you to eat each day?
  • Describe little ways that God could use you to help provide food for other people now and when you are older.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Can you think of at least one story in the Bible when God used little things to accomplish big miracles?
  • Compare and contrast the Bible story today with the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000.

Hymn: CW 469:1,3-4 – Take My Life and Let It Be

Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days; Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my voice and let me sing Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be Filled with messages from thee.

Take my silver and my gold; Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use Ev’ry pow’r as thou shalt choose.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Use Me! – Family Devotion – August 2, 2021

Read: John 6:1-15

After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
John 6:14

Use Me!

 

Family Devotion – August 2, 2021

Devotion based on John 6:14

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Kyle wasn’t sure where he fit in. At school, he got cut from the basketball team, he didn’t sing well enough to join a choir, and he was too afraid to try out for the play. At home, Kyle’s sister seemed to get all the attention because of her countless dance practices and performances. At church, many of Kyle’s friends were already playing instruments for services or teaching Sunday school.

Kyle kept wondering, “Do I even matter? What skills do I have? Am I useful to anyone?”

Over time though, the Lord used Kyle’s frustrating moments to help him see his amazing gifts. He wasn’t athletic or musical, but Kyle became a key part of the school’s state champion robotics team. At home, he used his technology brain power to help set up his parents’ computers and the family’s Wi-Fi network. Kyle even got to use those gifts to help with technology at church. He was part of the team that recorded services and produced videos for thousands of people to watch and learn about Jesus online. As it turned out, God used what seemed like little gifts in Kyle to serve many, many people.

The famous story for our consideration today is very similar. The disciples were overwhelmed by the crowd of more than 5,000 people that flocked to Jesus. But Jesus had a plan in mind from the very beginning. He used the five loaves of bread and the two small fish of a young boy to feed the entire crowd. He used the disciples to organize the crowd and then distribute the food and collect the leftovers. But most importantly, Jesus used this situation as an opportunity to reveal himself as “the Prophet who was to come.” In other words, Jesus revealed his power as true God and true man—the Savior who came for all!

What gifts do you have? What do you like to do? What are some of your favorite things? God can use any of these things in our lives—even simple things like loaves of bread and fish—as opportunities for us to serve others in love. But even better, Jesus wants to use you and your gifts to reveal to others that he is the Savior. What a comfort that you matter. Your time and talents and treasures matter. Jesus loves you. Jesus saved you. And now, Jesus wants to use you so that others can know that same wonderful truth.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for revealing yourself as my Savior. Now use me and my gifts to serve you and others in thanks and love. Please use me also to help others know that you are their Savior. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What were the seven items of food that Jesus used to feed more than 5,000 people?
  • How was it possible for Jesus to feed so many people with so few items of food?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why did Jesus have the disciples collect leftovers? What would they learn as they collected that extra food?
  • How would you have felt if you were the boy who gave Jesus the bread and fish that day? Why?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Explain why this miracle helped the crowd (and helps us) to see that he is the Savior.
  • What talents, gifts, or abilities do you have that you could use to serve the Lord right now? What about in the future?

Hymn: CW 469:1-2 – Take My Life and Let It Be

Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days; Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands and let them move At the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for thee.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Respect and Pray for Our Spiritual Leaders – Family Devotion – July 30, 2021

Read: Hebrews 13:7-8, 17-21

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Pray for us.
Hebrews 13:7, 17-18a

Respect and Pray for Our Spiritual Leaders

 

Family Devotion – July 30, 2021

Devotion based on Hebrews 13:7, 17-18a

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pastors, teachers, and church leaders are God’s front-line defense of his Church on earth. They witness firsthand the devastating effects of Satan’s bombardment of God’s people. They hunker alongside you in the trenches of life. Their genuine desire is to keep watch over you for your spiritual safety. Someday, they will report to the Triune God for the groups of souls, large or small, entrusted to their care.

Because of the weight of their duties, your leaders need you. Here are two ways you can help:

  1. Remember your leaders. Before we can remember, we need to know them by name. What’s the name of your pastor(s)? Find out who your elders, church council, and other leaders are who serve your church. But don’t just say their names. Remember to thank God for them. Send them encouragement in a text, e-mail, or card. Support them in their lives because they have the same joys and struggles as we do. Thank them! Acknowledge their time and the work that they do on behalf of all of us!
  2. Pray for [your leaders]. God isn’t asking us to pray. He is telling us, “Pray!” We pray at dinner time. We pray at bedtime. We pray when we are afraid. We pray when we are joyful. Prayer is our conversation with our Father in heaven. We have the great opportunity to give him all of our troubles, share with him all of our joys, and thank him for every blessing in our lives. When was the last time you prayed for your leaders? Pray for their well-being. Pray that their faith might be strong. Pray that they might lead like Jesus who loved and gave himself for the church. Pray that we might support them and be a blessing in their lives of service. Pray with urgency. Our leaders face the devil daily. That brings urgency to us. We pray for our leaders that they might combat all of the devil’s attacks.

Jesus fought with the holy weapon of love. He prayed, forgave, and loved us to death on the cross. He chose to obey his Father’s will. Hold the line alongside your leaders! Use God’s holy weapon of Christian love to achieve it: “Keep on loving each other as brothers” (Hebrews 13:1). The battle is not against one another but against enemies that do not have flesh or blood. Following the lead of a godly leader reveals our faith in—and obedience to—God.

May God help us to remember and pray for our leaders so that their work is a blessing.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord of our strength, thank you for the faithful leaders of our church. Grant them strength and encourage them each day to keep leading your church to your glory! Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What two things does God want us to do for our leaders?
  • Create a little prayer in your head for your pastor and say it out loud.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name as many leaders in your church as you can.
  • Name one way you can support them in their work

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Think of your pastors. Give a time they might need you to pray for them.
  • Consider the different leaders that serve your church. Discuss at least two challenges they face while serving you.

Hymn: CW 412:1-2 – Lord, Teach Us How to Pray Aright

Lord, teach us how to pray aright, With rev’rence and with fear.
Though dust and ashes in your sight, We may, we must draw near.

We suffer if we cease from prayer; Oh, grant us pow’r to pray.
And when to meet you we prepare, Lord, meet us on the way.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Provided a Spiritual Leader for His People – Family Devotion – July 28, 2021

Read: Numbers 27:12-23

The Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him. Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him. Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the Lord instructed through Moses.
Numbers 27:18-20, 22-23

God Provided a Spiritual Leader for His People

 

Family Devotion – July 28, 2021

Devotion based on Numbers 27:18-20, 22-23

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Who leads your family? If right now you’re pointing at someone, is it a parent or another family member? Who leads the United States? It’s the president. In the same way, a boss leads at work. A teacher leads the classroom. Each of these leaders has been set up to direct the family, the country, the job, and the classroom.

Leaders have been set up by God to direct what we do and to reflect what God wants us to do. All leaders have been given their position from the Lord. God’s Word even outlines their responsibilities. Today we see another leader and how the Lord set him apart for his people. The Lord gave his people a spiritual leader. Moses was his name. The Lord set him apart to lead God’s people out of Egypt and to lead them spiritually. God used Moses to give his people the Ten Commandments and to rebuke them when they would sin against the Lord.

In today’s Bible reading, it is time for Moses to be “gathered to his people.” That’s another way of saying Moses was going to die. Moses did not want the people to be without a leader. He asked the Lord for a new leader for his people. The Lord had Joshua set as the next leader. Joshua was presented before the people. In a very special ceremony, God left no doubt that Joshua was the new leader for his people. God said to Moses, “Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him.” God made clear that Joshua would now have the authority and it was given to him by God.

The Lord blesses us with spiritual leaders. We call them pastors, elders, or church leaders. We, too, have special ceremonies that set these men apart as leaders from the Lord. These men are responsible to strengthen the faith of the church and support the spiritual and physical lives of God’s people. Their power and authority come from God and his Word.

Thank God for providing spiritual leaders as a blessing for our lives!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, you are a God of order. Thank you for setting up leaders so that we might have an orderly life to praise you! Grant us the peace that order brings to our lives. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Who led the people of Israel out of Egypt?
  • With whom did God replace him?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name at least two spiritual leaders in your congregation. List one thing they do that makes you thankful for them.
  • Name at least one important thing God expects a spiritual leader to do.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • What are two ways you might serve as a leader for the Lord (or to assist a leader) as you get older?
  • Even as a child, discuss how you might serve as a leader now.

Hymn: CW 367:1-3 – Christ Be My Leader

Christ be my leader by night as by day,
Safe through the darkness, for he is the way.
Gladly I follow, my future his care;
Darkness is daylight when Jesus is there.

Christ be my teacher in age as in youth,
Drifting or doubting, for he is the truth.
Grant me to trust him, though shifting as sand.
Doubt cannot daunt me—in Jesus I stand!

Christ be my Savior in calm as in strife;
Death cannot hold me, for he is the life.
Nor darkness nor doubting nor sin and its stain
Can touch my salvation—with Jesus I reign!

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Was a Compassionate Teacher of the Word – Family Devotion – July 26, 2021

Read: Mark 6:30-34

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Mark 6:34

Jesus Was a Compassionate Teacher of the Word

 

Family Devotion – July 26, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 6:34

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

What does it mean to be compassionate? According to Google, it’s more than simply telling someone that you care. Compassion is “feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others.” To be compassionate is to feel deeply for another person as they experience the ups and downs of life. It’s a frame of mind, making it easy to treat others with love and understanding.

In our Bible reading, when Jesus saw a large crowd of people, “he had compassion on them.” They followed him even when Jesus was trying to find a quiet moment of rest. He didn’t think, “Man, I can’t get away from these people!” Or, “Why can’t I be alone for a few minutes?” He could’ve been frustrated. But no, Jesus had compassion on them. He saw them as “sheep without a shepherd.” Compassion is not an outward show but an emotion from the inner and deepest part of the body. God’s gut feeling for sheep is deep inside him and can’t be rooted out. Jesus knew sheep would be lost, confused, and in danger if he were not there to guide and help them. “So he began teaching them many things.” Jesus didn’t run and hide. He didn’t ignore the people while he ate his lunch. He saw people running on empty, who were hurting and hopeless and needed much more. He not only loved them in his heart, but he also showed his love by continuing to care for them. His love flowed out into his actions.

Jesus is a compassionate teacher to us as well! His love flowed out through his actions when he willingly gave his life on the cross and rose from the dead for all of us. Through his amazing, selfless example, he displayed how we might live a compassionate life. He inspires us to love deep down in our hearts and for our love to pour out in our actions. So, the next time your little sister asks you yet again to help her fix her Lego creation, show compassion. When your big brother just needs some time alone, show compassion. When Mom and Dad need your help around the house again, show compassion! Work to have your love shower on others through your actions just as Jesus showers us with his love as our compassionate teacher every moment of every day!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, we are thankful for your compassion every day. Help us to show compassion to others by letting our love show in our actions. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Jesus couldn’t get away from the people following him. Instead of getting mad, how did he feel about them? (Hint: it begins with the letter “c.”)
  • What does it mean to be compassionate?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • If you were one of Jesus’ disciples trying to leave the crowd of people, how might you have felt when they followed you?
  • Name two ways you might show compassion to others?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • What makes it difficult for you to show compassion to others?
  • List examples from today how you might have showed compassion rather than become frustrated.

Hymn: CW 365:1 – Love Divine, All Love Excelling

Love divine, all love excelling,
Joy of heav’n, to earth come down,
Fix in us your humble dwelling,
All your faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, you are all compassion,
Boundless mercy from above.
Visit us with benediction;
Comfort us with heav’nly love.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Thank God for Faithful Preachers of His Word – Family Devotion – July 23, 2021

Read: 1 Timothy 3:1-7

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.
1 Timothy 3:1

Thank God for Faithful Preachers of His Word

 

Family Devotion – July 23, 2021

Devotion based on 1 Timothy 3:1

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

There was a principal that loved his students. He worked hard to make sure he taught his students carefully. He prepared his classes so that each student would learn. He also had to take care of the paperwork of the school. He spent countless hours doing his work. He taught his lessons so that Jesus was in everything his students learned. He took Jesus home with him. He spent time with his family making sure they were safe and happy. He made sure that his family knew Jesus and that they were saved, that heaven is their home. He did all of these things because he loved his Savior.

Then there was a little girl. Her father was taken to heaven. She was in this principal’s school. She was not one of his students yet because she was so little. That didn’t stop this principal. He knew she and her family needed support. One time at a father/daughter basketball game, he stepped in as the little girl’s “dad.” The principal’s daughters babysat for the little girl. The principal watched out for her, and she listened to what he said. She heard his message from Jesus. She felt so loved and supported that she too wanted to be a teacher. Sure enough, she did!

Thank God for faithful preachers of his Word! Because of this principal and all the men and women who God calls to be his messengers, more people (like that little girl) experience Jesus’ love. Many feel the love of the Lord through the love of the pastor or the teacher. Many come to faith, grow stronger in faith, and share their faith because of faithful preachers of his Word! While everyone has the calling to share the good news, few are called to do it full time. Thank the Lord for people like this principal, and all of our pastors and teachers who choose to serve the Lord by sharing the great news of salvation with us every day!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for faithful called workers who have impacted our lives. Use them to strengthen and encourage us each day. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What did the principal do to show his love for Jesus?
  • What did the little girl end up doing as a job?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What motivated the principal in his work?
  • Why is love so important in the work of a pastor, teacher, or principal?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Name a pastor or teacher in your life and how they influenced you for the better.
  • Have you considered that the Lord might want you to be a called worker? Discuss with your family the gifts they see in you to be one.

Hymn: CW 446:5,6 – I Am Trusting You Lord Jesus

I am trusting you for power; You can never fail.
Words which you yourself shall give me, Must prevail.

I am trusting you, Lord Jesus; Never let me fall.
I am trusting you forever And for all.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Can Use Anyone to Share His Word – Family Devotion – July 21, 2021

Read: Amos 7:10-17

Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”
Amos 7:14-15

God Can Use Anyone to Share His Word

 

Family Devotion – July 21, 2021

Devotion based on Amos 7:14-15

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Who would be the best football player? The one who throws the furthest, tackles the hardest, and runs the fastest. Who would be the best singer? The one with the most beautiful voice, a great smile, and lots of charisma. Who would be the best doctor? The one with the best education, most experience, and a caring heart. These are obvious choices for their type of work.

But what about the player who has a weak arm and is a little slow? Or the singer whose voice cracks and is shy? The doctor from a lesser-known school with little experience? These people would likely not be our first choice for these occupations. There wouldn’t be a sense of excitement or joy over the less than desirable choices. They likely would struggle to find a job.

The Lord’s first choice looks different. Many times, God uses the least obvious choice to do his work. In our lesson today, God chose a shepherd and a farmer. Amos was called by God away from his sheep and trees. The Lord had an additional job for him. Amos was to share God’s word with his people. Amos didn’t have the training. He wasn’t popular. The Lord told Amos to tell the people God’s messages. Amos wasn’t the clear choice. He wasn’t a great singer or speaker. He wasn’t used to being in front of people, and yet God chose him to do his work.

Today, God calls all people to spread God’s great news. It doesn’t matter if you are a football player, singer, or doctor. God calls all of us to spread his great news. Through some of the least obvious people, the Lord works to share his great message of salvation. Even if we don’t have the training, popularity, or other skills the world might say a preacher needs to have, the Lord equips us with his words and calls us to action. The success is the same now as it was for Amos. We have the opportunity to preach the news from our Lord, and he grants success. No matter the job on earth, may everyone work to spread the word that Jesus has saved us all!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, we praise you for your amazing choices of those to do your work. Be with us, your clear choices, so that we might help more people to know that you are God who has come to save them. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Who does God want to tell his good news?
  • Name two things that make you so good at sharing God’s Word.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Jesus calls you to share him in your life. Figure out one way you might do that this week.
  • Name two things in life that make it difficult to share Jesus.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why do you think God chooses the less obvious people to share his news?
  • Name one person (not a pastor or teacher) who shared the good news with you and describe how that impacted you.

Hymn: CW 446:3,4 – I Am Trusting You Lord Jesus

I am trusting you for cleansing In the crimson flood,
Trusting you who made me holy, By your blood.

I am trusting you to guide me; You alone shall lead,
Ev’ry day and hour supplying, All my need.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Equips Us for the Journey – Family Devotion – July 19, 2021

Read: Mark 6:7-13

Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. They went out and preached that people should repent.
Mark 6:7-9,12

God Equips Us for the Journey

 

Family Devotion – July 19, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 6:7-9,12

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Get ready! Pack everything you need. What do you need to go camping or to your favorite vacation spot? Clothes, shoes, toothbrush, flashlight, phone, tablet, and…. Don’t forget anything!

When we go somewhere, we prepare. We pack all the things we need and want. We check our phones for battery length. We plan where we want to go, what we want to see, and how we will get there. More people are doing that now in the summertime than any other time of the year.

Then we hear Jesus’ instructions from our Bible reading, “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.” Nothing? Think about what his disciples must have been thinking. How will we eat? Where will we sleep? How will we survive the journey?

The Lord gave them everything that they needed for the journey. Jesus wanted the disciples to trust in him, not the earthly stuff. Jesus wants us to trust in him too. We can often trust too much in the things that we need or want. We don’t know how we will eat or sleep, or how we will survive. It can feel dark when we do not know. “Trust me,” Jesus says, “I will provide for you on your trip.” Jesus has something very special for us to do on this journey—tell a person frightened because of their sins that God doesn’t see their sins because of Jesus. Tell someone who refuses to say “I’m sorry” for what they did wrong that they need to. Tell them to live in God’s light. Jesus is the light that shows the answers to all of our questions. He shows us that the only thing we need is his salvation and home in heaven.

Jesus shines on us and through us. So, while we might be packing for vacation and not a mission trip, we are to be ready and shine Jesus. He never stops shining the light of his greatest answer in our lives. So, we reflect that light to the world so that they might know that their questions are answered in the light of Jesus. The world will know through us that the Savior Jesus is the only light needed!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for shining in our lives so that we know we are saved. Give us the strength and courage to reflect your light to everyone we see! Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What did Jesus tell his disciples to bring with them on their journey?
  • Why did Jesus want them to pack light?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • If you were one of Jesus’ disciples preparing for the journey and you heard his instructions, how might you feel?
  • Give two ways you can reflect Jesus’ light to others.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Jesus wanted his disciples to pack light for their journey with nothing extra. Give one way you can reflect the same “pack light” mentality.
  • What is the special mission Jesus gives us as we travel through life?

Hymn: CW 446:1,2 – I Am Trusting You Lord Jesus

I am trusting you, Lord Jesus, Trusting only you,
Trusting you for full salvation, Free and true.

I am trusting you for pardon; At your feet I bow,
For your grace and tender mercy Trusting now.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Be Prepared to Preach God’s Powerful Word – Family Devotion – July 16, 2021

Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-4:5

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:2-3,5

Be Prepared to Preach God’s Powerful Word

 

Family Devotion – July 16, 2021

Devotion based on 2 Timothy 4:2-3,5

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

There are lots of things that get into our ears. Loud noises. Music. Books. Words. Some of it is good. Some is dangerous. Some of it is because we have “itching ears.” That’s a fancy way of saying, “Scratch my desire to hear what I want to hear.” There are forces with competing agendas for your ears. What an ugly mess life becomes when we only listen to what we want and lose sight of the better life God wants for us.

That’s why God has something to say about what goes into your ears. There are words of truth he wants planted in your ears and words that are lies he wants to stay out of your ears.

Picture words like the food you eat. Some food is not good for you. Eating chicken-fried steak smothered in gravy, with onion rings, butter-drenched rolls, and a chocolate fudge sundae tastes pretty awesome at the moment! But a daily diet of that will make you unhealthy. God’s Word is like eating a meal of grilled chicken, rice, and green beans washed down with a glass of milk. It’s healthy for you—and it tastes good!

How do you tell the difference between the two? Today’s word of God tells us: “Preach the Word.” The most important words of truth, the whole truth, belong to God. He wants to fill your ears with them—words that save! For some of you, that may go all the way back to your baptism as a baby. Parents and pastors, Sunday School teachers, and grandparents loved you so much they shared the best of Jesus for your ears to hear!

Now God promises you the power of his Word and his love so you can speak God’s Word. When you might be tempted to be timid, quiet, or sugar coat words God has made crystal clear, he says, “Keep your head.” Stay focused. When you’re tempted to avoid conflict, he says, “Endure hardship patiently,” which sometimes goes along with speaking God’s truth.

Whether you’ve heard it a thousand times before, don’t ever stop listening to the words God wants planted in your ears! “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says.”

Closing Prayer:

Dear Father, your Word is such an amazing gift for us. Let our ears always be ready to hear so that we can be ready for any and all opportunities to share your amazing message of sin, forgiveness, and grace. In your name we pray. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Name three sounds you heard in your ears today.
  • In today’s devotion, what beautiful sound does God want to go into your ears?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Today’s devotion talked about “itchy” ears. What does that mean?
  • Today’s devotion pictured different words you hear to be like healthy or unhealthy food you eat. How do you tell the difference between the two?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • You have a parent or pastor (or teacher) who share God’s Word with you. But why is it important for you to be able the difference between good words and dangerous words?
  • Name a moment when you are in a group and might be tempted to sugarcoat the truth of God’s Word. Devise a response that will glorify your God.

Hymn: CW 293 – God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage

God’s Word is our great heritage
And shall be ours forever;
To spread its light from age to age
Shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life is guides our way;
In death it is our stay.
Lord, grant, while worlds endure,
We keep its teachings pure
Throughout all generations.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Ezekiel’s Call: Digest and Share the Word – Family Devotion – July 14, 2021

Read: Ezekiel 2:1-3:4

You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.
Ezekiel 2:7-8

Ezekiel’s Call: Digest and Share the Word

 

Family Devotion – July 14, 2021

Devotion based on Ezekiel 2:7-8

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Have I got a job for you!” Does that get you excited or a little nervous? What if they say, “I’ve got a great job for you. Go over there and tell that group of kids that recess is over. They need to come inside right now. They won’t be happy and might even yell at you, but it’s ok. Tell them anyway. Thanks for helping!”

Is your answer going to be, “Sure! Happy to help!” or will it be, “You’ve got to be kidding! No thanks!”

Ezekiel was someone God picked for an important job. God wanted him to deliver a message. The people he was to speak with were all descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is a big deal. It means that these were people chosen by God. They knew a lot about God. However, God paints a pretty tough picture about them. He calls them stubborn and rebellious. God wanted Ezekiel to be ready for the fact that the people were likely not going to be excited to hear what God has to say about them. Ezekiel was to tell them that they were sinning against God—not an easy message at all. Ezekiel was not to stop speaking God’s message even if the people refused to listen to it.

How about you? Did you know that God asks you to do the same thing as Ezekiel? He sends you as one of his special people who tells others about Jesus. You don’t have to go to a faraway place. You don’t have to get up in front of a large group of people. You simply get to talk about Jesus and all he’s done for you and for others in your everyday life. God doesn’t ask you to actually eat his Word like he told Ezekiel to eat the scroll, but he was encouraging Ezekiel and you to read and listen to God’s Word as food you need for your body. Even if God’s message doesn’t taste pleasant at the moment, it is meant to help us. Sometimes unpleasant things remind us God’s sweet promises of grace, forgiveness, heaven, and that he is right there with us every day.

The next time you see something unpleasant to eat on your plate, remember Ezekiel and the untasty message God wanted him to eat and share with his people.

Closing Prayer:

Dear God, give me faith and courage to speak about you even when I think others might reject what I say. Bless my efforts to tell and tell and tell about you. In your name I pray. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What hard thing did God ask Ezekiel to do?
  • Discuss the last time a grown up (like Mom or Dad) said something you didn’t want to hear. Ask them why they said such a hard thing.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • List at least three words that would describe how Ezekiel may have felt as he set out to deliver God’s tough message.
  • God told Ezekiel to eat the scroll he was giving him. He wanted Ezekiel to taste the words and have that message inside him. God doesn’t ask you and me to eat the Bible, but he wants us to have the message inside us too. How can we do that?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • If you were Ezekiel, how would you share God’s message knowing people wouldn’t like it?
  • Why is it so important to not avoid unpleasant messages God speaks to us even though we may not want to hear them?

Hymn: CW 293 – God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage

God’s Word is our great heritage
And shall be ours forever;
To spread its light from age to age
Shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life is guides our way;
In death it is our stay.
Lord, grant, while worlds endure,
We keep its teachings pure
Throughout all generations.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Proclaimed the Truth and Some Sadly Rejected – Family Devotion – July 12, 2021

Read: Mark 6:1-6

Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hand on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.
Mark 6:4-6

Jesus Proclaimed the Truth and Some Sadly Rejected

 

Family Devotion – July 12, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 6:4-6

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“I don’t believe you! That can’t be true!” your friend says to you. His reaction shocks you! This is your best friend who has known you as long as you can remember, and he doesn’t believe you. You try to explain but it’s no use. You leave hurt, confused, and disappointed. If he doesn’t believe you, who will? That hurts, doesn’t it? And when it comes from your best friend, it rocks your confidence.

Jesus experienced something similar. He, along with his disciples, were visiting Nazareth, the town in which he grew up. Jesus wasn’t there to only visit and hang out with family. As the Savior, he was there to preach and teach. That’s why people everywhere knew about Jesus. When someone local becomes famous, often the locals are excited and proud to welcome them home. Not so with Jesus. As he was teaching in the synagogue (the church), the people were indeed amazed at what he was saying. Then it turned into questions like, “How can this be the same son of Mary and Joseph that grew up down the street? Who does he think he is?”

They said this about Jesus? They surely did. Those who knew him longest didn’t believe him. They knew God’s promise to send a Savior. But they just couldn’t believe that Jesus was the Savior. To them, he was just one of them and no more.

Now who is amazed? Jesus. He is amazed at their lack of faith. That’s why he did very few miracles while there. After he spoke the words for today’s devotion, the people became so mad that they ran him out of town and tried to throw him off a cliff. “He simply walked through the crowd and went on his way” (Luke 4:30).

What does this mean for you and for me? God never promised that believing in Jesus would be easy. In fact, he said just the opposite. There are going to be times when even those closest to us may reject what we believe and say. But he also promises to bless our believing and to be with us. Like Jesus, we go on our way and keep believing and telling and sharing and praying. May the Lord bless all who hear the awesome message of God’s grace through Jesus. May they join us in hearing and believing!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Father, it can be hard to share you with others. Help us to be confident and excited to tell others about you. We want everyone we know to be with you. Bless our efforts! In your name we pray. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Who were the people that couldn’t believe Jesus was more than the local son of Mary and Joseph?
  • Why do you believe in Jesus?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Share a time when a friend or someone close to you didn’t believe you. Was it something you did or said? What did you do to convince them you were telling the truth?
  • The people Jesus was talking to knew about God’s promise to send a Savior. Why do you think they still didn’t believe him?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Even when you know it might be hard and that someone you know might not believe you, what promise of God gives you confidence and encouragement to speak up?
  • We can share our faith by talking to someone face to face. But what are other ways (without saying a word) that you can influence someone about God’s amazing grace?

Hymn: CW 293 – God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage

God’s Word is our great heritage
And shall be ours forever;
To spread its light from age to age
Shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life is guides our way;
In death it is our stay.
Lord, grant, while worlds endure,
We keep its teachings pure
Throughout all generations.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Gives Us Strength to Suffer for Him – Family Devotion – July 9, 2021

Read: 2 Timothy 1:8-14

Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
2 Timothy 1:14

God Gives Us Strength to Suffer for Him

 

Family Devotion – July 9, 2021

Devotion based on 2 Timothy 1:14

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Think about a time when someone trusted you with an important job. Maybe someone asked you to keep an eye on something to be sure nothing happens to it. “Can you watch my bike while I run in the house for a minute?” “Can you hold my phone for me?” “I’m going on vacation. Can you watch my dog for me and be sure he has water, food, and company while I’m gone?”

You’re being asked to take responsibility for things that are very important to your friend.

In our Bible reading today God told Paul to guard his Word and to tell it! Paul then encouraged Timothy to do the same. The work of sharing Jesus was not easy. Paul was beaten and thrown into prison. How much easier it would be to just give up when something becomes hard or it means you might hurt.

Listen to what Paul says to Timothy, “Do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord.” “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you.” Even though the message they were sharing was the absolute best news ever shared (that Jesus is the Savior), not everyone was eager to hear it. Paul is telling Timothy to hang in there, even when it’s hard or if you’re hurting. God will help you guard and share his message “with the help of the Holy Spirit.” Talk about help! Paul knew that if it was up to him or Timothy, they could not do it alone. But the Holy Spirit would help them every step of the way.

Now, God gives you the task of guarding and sharing the gospel, the good news that Jesus is the Savior. There’s two parts to that work. One is to make sure that what we say is what God says in his Word. Don’t add to it or take away from it! The second part of the task is a reminder to be brave. This news we have to share about Jesus is incredible! But it’s not always easy to share. Sometimes when you want to talk about Jesus, others might make you feel embarrassed, or they might disagree with you. That can be hard. That’s why God tells us to tell and tell and tell and then promises the help of the Holy Spirit. He will be right there with you. He will give you strength!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, all you have done for me is the greatest blessing. It’s the best news ever. Help me to be eager and bold to share that with others. Bless my telling through the help of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Recall a time when someone asked you to do something really important. Describe how you felt: Excited? Nervous? Something else?
  • In today’s devotion, God asked you to do something important for him. What was it?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What do you think it means when Paul tells Timothy to “guard the good deposit”? What’s the “good deposit” and how would Timothy “guard it”?
  • God tells us to guard the Word and also to tell it. How can you guard it and tell it?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Give at least one reason why it can be hard to talk about your faith with friends and others. How does the promise of the Holy Spirit.
  • Give one happy outcome that could happen if you tell someone about Jesus? Now give one unfortunate outcome that could happen if you don’t?

Hymn: CW 446:1,2,4,5 – I Am Trusting You, Lord Jesus

I am trusting you, Lord Jesus,
Trusting only you,
Trusting you for full salvation,
Free and true.

I am trusting you for pardon;
At your feet I bow,
For your grace and tender mercy
Trusting now.

I am trusting you to guide me;
You alone shall lead,
Every day and hour supplying
All my need.

I am trusting you for power;
Never let me fall.
I am trusting you forever
And for all.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Comforts Us with His Pardon – Family Devotion – July 7, 2021

Read: 2 Samuel 12:11-25

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die.”
2 Samuel 12:13-14

God Comforts Us with His Pardon

 

Family Devotion – July 7, 2021

Devotion based on 2 Samuel 12:13-14

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Do you know that feeling you get in your stomach when you’ve done something wrong? It feels like a bad stomachache but food or a nap don’t help. You feel badly and often wish that you could go back and do things differently. How can you fix this and make it better? You are concerned if Mom or Dad will find out or how they will respond. You don’t want them disappointed in you. You also don’t want the consequence that will likely follow. You wish it would all just go away.

Today’s Bible reading begins with a very sad story. Nathan was sent to David by God. Nathan was there to do a hard thing—tell King David that he had sinned terribly. David knew he had done wrong by taking someone else’s wife. He tried to cover up his sin, but the guilt was still there. Nathan came to David to stop the cover up and to tell David the hard truth—David had sinned against God and the result of David’s sin had consequences, including the death of his son.

David did wrong. Nathan helped him recognize his terrible mistake. Like you, David may have felt better when he finally admitted his sin. David didn’t make excuses or try to pass the blame. He simply said, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan immediately reminded him that God had taken care of David’s sin, had forgiven David. Can you imagine how David felt? What a relief! God had shown him mercy in that forgiveness.

I would imagine that sometimes when you go to Mom or Dad and tell them when you’ve done something wrong, they may respond the same way. Their first words might be, “I forgive you.” This can take us by surprise. They also might take the time to talk through the situation with you, and it’s also likely that there will be a consequence to help you learn to avoid that mistake in the future. Regardless, their love for you is still there.

It’s even more so with God. His forgiveness is yours. The verse above says that God will “have mercy” and will “freely pardon.” God isn’t indicating that there will be no consequences. God isn’t looking for you to do something to make up for your sin. Jesus already did that on the cross. You are forgiven. You are precious in God’s eyes. You can pray just as David did in Psalm 51, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, it sometimes makes no sense to me that you forgive me freely each and every day. Even though I don’t always understand it, thank you. Help me to show your love and forgiveness in all I do, reflecting you to others. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Think of a time when you did something wrong and you were afraid to tell someone. Why were you afraid?
  • Think of a consequence given to you the last time you did something wrong. Discuss with your family how consequences are meant to help you.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • In the Bible reading today, it says that David admitted he had “sinned against the LORD.” Think of a time when you’ve sinned. How was that a sin against the LORD?
  • Give one reason why it’s so important not to hide our sins.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • The consequences of David’s sin were severe. People turned against him and his son died. These happened even after he was told that God forgave him. How might the consequences of David’s sin have helped him in the future?
  • When someone forgives you, and even more, when you know God forgives you, how does can this make a difference when someone sins against you?

Hymn: CW 446:1,2,4 – I Am Trusting You, Lord Jesus

I am trusting you, Lord Jesus,
Trusting only you,
Trusting you for full salvation,
Free and true.

I am trusting you for pardon;
At your feet I bow,
For your grace and tender mercy
Trusting now.

I am trusting you to guide me;
You alone shall lead,
Every day and hour supplying
All my need.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Don’t Be Afraid; Just Believe – Family Devotion – July 5, 2021

Read: Mark 5:21-24a,35-43

While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher [Jesus] anymore?” Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
Mark 5:35,36

Don’t Be Afraid; Just Believe

 

Family Devotion – July 5, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 5:35,36

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Crack! A flash of lightening and another epic boom of thunder! It’s the middle of the night and a huge storm is making its presence known. Mom says, “Don’t be afraid. I’m right here.”

Your grandfather is in the hospital for the third time this year. Grandma says, “Don’t be afraid. Jesus is with Grandpa and he’s also with you.

There are a lot of things in this world that can make us feel afraid or anxious. In those times, it’s pretty common to go to Mom, Dad, or another adult for help. In today’s Bible account, we hear about Jairus. He was an important church leader who managed the local church. His little daughter was sick, very sick. Jairus begged for help because he felt helpless. Where did he go for help? He went to an adult, but not just any adult. He went to Jesus. Jesus had been healing others, teaching people, and even raising people from the dead. Jesus’s words to Jairus were simple. “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.”

Just believe? Believe what? Believe that Jesus is God. He is the one who made the world. The one who calmed a sea, walked on water, healed a blind man, chased out demons, and most of all, he is the one who forgives sins. Think about that list for a minute. Why did he do all that? Because he loved them and because he loves you. Can you imagine the joy that Jairus and the little girl’s mom felt when Jesus took her hand and she sat up? They saw that he even had power over death!

God made promises to those in the Bible, and he’s made promises to you and me as well. He has kept every promise he’s made. He’s faithful. He forgives us. He has made a place for us in heaven. He has promised to be with us in all things.

Life has some scary things sometimes. Sometimes things turn out just fine, but sometimes hard things happen. In it all, you and I don’t need to be afraid. Our God is all powerful. Our God has promised that he will be with us each and every day. And God has promised that our ultimate home is with him in heaven.

Closing Prayer:

Dearest Jesus. Sometime life can be scary. Thank you for all the promises that you have made and kept, especially promising to forgive me, to have a place for me in heaven, and to be with me each and every day. Help me to trust and believe in you. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What are some things that may make you feel afraid?
  • What do you do when you’re afraid? What are some things you can do to help calm your fears?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why do you think the men from the house told Jairus not to bother Jesus anymore?
  • Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.” How do you think Jairus may have been feeling right before Jesus said that?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • The Bible tells us so many things that God has done that show his power and his love. Together with your family, create a list with as many examples as you can.
  • As you hear the story of Jairus’ daughter and when you read through the list you created, what comfort and encouragement does this give you? How can this help when you are facing difficult things?

Hymn: CW 446:1,4 – I Am Trusting You, Lord Jesus

I am trusting you, Lord Jesus,
Trusting only you,
Trusting you for full salvation,
Free and true.

I am trusting you to guide me;
You alone shall lead,
Every day and hour supplying
All my need.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Protected Paul through a Storm – Family Devotion – July 2, 2021

Read: Acts 27:13-26

So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.
Acts 27:25

God Protected Paul Through a Storm

 

Family Devotion – July 2, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 27:25

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

We don’t hear too much about shipwrecks—unless you live along the water’s edge of a lake or ocean. So today’s extended Bible reading might seem more like a story about some other people that happened a long time ago.

Actually, though, there’s something in it for us all. The guys on the ship were terrified because they were in danger of sinking. They really thought they were going to die. They did everything they could think of to fix the situation. They tied ropes under the boat and threw things overboard to make the boat lighter. But it didn’t work. They gave up all hope. That’s when Paul told them not to be afraid—that God had a plan and things would work out according to that plan.

We have things that scare us too. Did your parents give you a spray bottle filled with monster repellent to use at bedtime? Some people are scared of snakes or dogs. Maybe you’re afraid of more grown-up things like your dad having cancer or your baby brother being in the hospital. Sometimes we might be tempted to try to handle them on our own, and then we give up hope if things don’t work out.

God wants you to take heart and know that he has a plan for your life too. He says, “Because you love me, I will rescue you. I will protect you because you know my name. When you call to me, I will answer you. I will be with you when you are in trouble” (Psalm 91:14,15).

When you scream “Dad! Come quick!” because you need him to refill the bottle of monster spray, he comes because you’ve called for him and he loves you. When you call out “God! I need you!” he’s there because you called for him and he loves you. God, who made the entire universe out of nothing, cares about you. His greatest plan was to rescue you from the sinking in sea of your sins through the life jacket of a living Jesus. One of his favorite things is to watch over you, answer you, and protect you—and watch you live out his plans or you.

Closing Prayer:

Dear God, without me even saying it, you know what scares me. Thank you for caring about me, for telling me that I can talk to you about everything! Thank you for answering me all the time, for always being with me, and for having good plans for me. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Recall two scary things from today’s devotion.
  • Discuss how the thought of Jesus makes them less scary.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name someone who is having a tough time now.
  • How can we tell them about God’s plans for them?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Discuss: Living life without Christ is like an ancient sailor steering with the sun and stars.
  • When life is pitch dark, what thoughts of God and his presence comfort you the most?

Hymn: CW 451:1 – Precious Lord, Take My Hand

Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand;
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light.
Take my hand, precious Lord; Lead me home.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Protects with His Mighty Power – Family Devotion – June 30, 2021

Read: Proverbs 30:4-5

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Proverbs 30:5

God Protects with His Mighty Power

 

Family Devotion – June 30, 2021

Devotion based on Proverbs 30:5

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Do your parents watch the news on TV? Sometimes it seems like the weather is out of control with devastating tornadoes, earthquakes, terrible snowstorms, hurricanes, tsunamis, and mudslides. In the Bible, we learn that when Adam and Eve sinned, the world started to break down. But the words we read from the Bible today remind us that God is still in control of all of it—the wind, the waters, and all the earth.

Sometimes, a lot of other things seem more out of control than the weather. Some kids are afraid of letting their team down. Other kids worry about their grades, ashamed if they get a “bad” grade. There are a ton of kids who struggle because they don’t feel like they have friends. Maybe there’s even bigger stuff. Are your grandparents sick? Maybe you are moving across the country or starting a new school? Is your family fighting? Maybe you have worries so big that you haven’t talked about them with anyone.

Each one of these can make you worry so much that you get sick to your stomach. That’s why it helps to talk to a friend or parent, though. You can almost feel the worries get lighter because you realize you aren’t alone, and that’s good! Talking to your God is even better. Just like superheroes have a shield to protect them against their enemies’ bullets or arrows, God wants to be your shield—the thing that protects you when life is throwing hard things your way. He’s the God of the whole entire world, and he loves it when you talk to him. He is your safe place where you feel protected and loved.

As you read the Bible, have family devotions, and pray, remember that no matter how much things seem out of control, your God—who is in control of wind and water—is guarding and protecting you, too!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Father, when I’m scared remind me that you created the world and it is still in your control. Thank you for being my shield and protecting me when I’m afraid. Help me run to you for safety. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Name two things that scare you.
  • What picture can you draw from today’s devotion that shows how God protects us?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Say out loud the top worry in your life right now.
  • If your worry is like an arrow shot at you, what does God promise to be like in order to protect you?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • God is a shield behind which you are safe. Name a situation happening in your life right now where you need his safety.
  • How is the cross of Christ the ultimate shield of protection?

Hymn: CW 449:1,2 – Children of the Heavenly Father

Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in his bosom gather;
Nestling bird or star in heaven
Such a refuge ne’er was given.

God his own doth tend and nourish;
In his holy courts they flourish.
From all evil things he spares them;
In his mighty arms he bears them.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Protected with His Mighty Power – Family Devotion – June 28, 2021

Read: Mark 4:35-41

The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
Mark 4:38b-39

Jesus Protected with His Mighty Power

 

Family Devotion – June 28, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 4:38b-39

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

For people who live where tornadoes or hurricanes happen, they know the drill. You get a warning, and you had better run to the basement or get to an inside wall or leave before the storm hits. That’s because storms are serious.

A storm (the Bible calls it a furious squall) hit while Jesus and his disciples were in a boat on the water. There was no safe building for them to hide in. In a crazy panic, they ran to Jesus, which is always a good idea. But then they yelled at him, which is not a good idea. They yelled, “WE ARE GOING TO DIE AND YOU DON’T EVEN CARE!”

Jesus, who knows how to handle panic better than any parent, got up and told the storm, “Stop it!” And it did.

Then Jesus had a little talk with the disciples. He asked them to really think about what they said (you know, kind of like how your parents might help you to look back at the some of the things you’ve said and think through if they were the best choice of words).

We deal with different kinds of storms in life. Dads and moms deploy for the military. Cousins die from drug overdoses. Parents separate. Classmates get cancer. People can be bullies. Wildfires, tornadoes, mudslides, and hurricanes threaten homes.

It’s easy to be like the disciples. When we get scared, we might think that God isn’t paying attention. We might yell at him, “DON’T YOU CARE?!”

He does care. After all, he’s the God who knit you together exactly the way he wants you to be—while you were still a baby inside your mom. He’s the one who sent Jesus to rescue you from Satan. He’s the God who gives you the Holy Spirit to guide you. He’s the God who calms storms.

This doesn’t mean life is perfect—here on earth. We still live in a sinful world and still have bad things happen. But we can trust that our God does care. And if he doesn’t calm the storm, he can calm our hearts and help us trust in him because he protects us with his mighty power.

Closing Prayer:

Dear God, it’s easy to focus more on the “storms”—the bad things that happen in this world. Help me run to you whenever storms hit, not yelling at you, but knowing that you will use it for my good. Amaze me with your power to make my faith bigger and stronger so that I trust you more and worry less. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What’s the biggest storm you remember? Recount what made you afraid.
  • Stretch out your arms to indicate the power of that storm. Now stretch out your arms to indicate the power of God. Which one is bigger?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Talk about two bad things (“storms”) that have happened to you recently. How did God help you during them?
  • On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being weakest and 5 being strongest), how big is your faith? How big is your God? How big do you dare to pray?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • What bad thing or “storms” have happened to you? How did God help you during them?
  • As a family, name at least one way we can help each other run to God first to calm the storm in our hearts.

Hymn: CW 415:1,2 – Be Still, My Soul

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to your God to order and provide;
In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; your best, your heav’nly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; your God will undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he lived below.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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’s Powerful Word Bears Fruit in Our Lives – Family Devotion – June 25, 2021

Read: Colossians 1:3-8

We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people—the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you.
Colossians 1:4-6a

God’s Powerful Word Bears Fruit in Our Lives

 

Family Devotion – June 25, 2021

Devotion based on Colossians 1:4-6a

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

How did you serve Jesus today?

That might not be an easy question to answer. Sometimes we think that if we didn’t go to church, read our Bible, have a devotion, or pray that we didn’t serve Jesus.

But that’s not what God says. He says that when you believe in him, you have hope because of Jesus, and that you show your faith by loving others. Jesus says that you serve him this way: “Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters . . . you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).

Jesus loves every single person. When you love others, you are serving Jesus and showing your faith. It lets people know that your heart is so full of Jesus’ love that you can’t help but share that love with others.

That’s why people who love Jesus look for ways to serve others. Maybe they help a classmate who dropped their books, volunteer to do the dishes, or pick up someone else’s trash. Or maybe they write letters to people who are lonely, help bake cookies for a friend, or mow the neighbor’s grass. They might show their love for Jesus when they give Christmas presents to a child whose dad is in jail, cheer up a friend who is sad, bring flowers or cookies for the teacher, or sing at a nursing home.

While you are looking for ways to love others, make sure you look for ways to love the people in your house too. Show love to your parents, your grandparents, and brother or sister (if you have them)! The people in your house are the first ones you get to love.

This week, let’s look for ways to show our hope and faith by loving and serving the people Jesus loves.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus so that I am a part of your family. Thank you for giving me hope and helping me share that hope with others. Use my life and words to bring others to love Jesus too. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Tell one way you served Jesus today.
  • Tell one way someone served Jesus by serving YOU today.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Tell one way you served Jesus today.
  • Tell one way someone served Jesus by serving YOU today.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Tell one way you served Jesus today.
  • Tell one way someone served Jesus by serving YOU today.

Hymn: CW 521:1,2 – Lord of All Nations, Grant Me Grace

Lord of all nations, grant me grace To love all people, ev’ry race,
And in each person help me view My kindred, loved, redeemed by you.

Break down the wall that would divide Your children, Lord, on ev’ry side.
My neighbors’ good let me pursue; Bind them to me and all to you.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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’s Word Powerfully Worked in Nineveh – Family Devotion – June 23, 2021

Read: Jonah 3:1-10

Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.
Jonah 3:8b-9

God’s Word Powerfully Worked in Nineveh

 

Family Devotion – June 23, 2021

Devotion based on Jonah 3:8b-9

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

When you get in trouble at school, do you

A. Get mad at your teacher.
B. Blame another person in the class.
C. Say, “Yeah. I totally did that. I was so wrong. I’m so sorry. How can I make it up to you?”

Let’s be honest, nobody really wants to admit that they were wrong—even if they were—so C rarely happens.

Except, it did once.

God told a man named Jonah to talk to people who lived in a city called Nineveh (pronounced ninn-uh-vuh). He said, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

Oh, great. Basically Jonah had to tell everyone in the city that they misbehaved very badly. They went against God’s laws and they were about to get in trouble. Well, not just trouble, but BIG trouble. For three days (it was a big city!), Jonah told them the bad news.

Instead of getting mad at Jonah and blaming their neighbors, the people said, “Yep. We totally did that. We were so wrong. We’re so sorry. We want to make it up to God.”

Another man—a king named David—lived about 250 years before Jonah. He knew that admitting when he did something wrong actually made him feel better, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. . . . Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin,” (Psalm 32:3,5 NIV).

When David tried to hide his sins, the weight of his guilt made him sick to his stomach and he groaned all day. But when he admitted to God what he did, he heard the sweetest words from God, “I forgive you.” That’s the same thing that happened to the people who lived in Nineveh.

Here’s the thing. God already knew David’s sins and Nineveh’s sins, the same way he knows yours. Confessing your sins is not something God needs you to do. It’s something God wants for you. Pretending you aren’t guilty isn’t being honest. When you hide your sins, you hold on to them. When you admit them, you say, “I was wrong, God. I’m so sorry. But Jesus already paid for them, so I don’t have to carry them around anymore. Thank you.”

God has compassion on you, just like he did with the people of Nineveh.

Closing Prayer:

Dear God, help me to do what you tell me. If I don’t follow your plans and path, please help me to admit when I’m wrong. Then, let me hear your sweetest words, “I forgive you.” Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Remember the last time you got caught for doing something wrong?
  • Were you sorry? Why is it important for someone to then say, “I forgive you”?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Talk about the last time someone did something wrong. Did you tell on them or talk to them about it?
  • What sins of ours should we confess to God now?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Have you ever had to tell someone they were doing something wrong? How much courage did that take? How do you think Jonah felt having to talk to the people of Nineveh?
  • Recall a time you got caught for doing something wrong. What reminder from today’s devotion might help you admit and repent the next time you do something wrong?

Hymn: CW 397:1,5 – Just As I Am, without One Plea

Just as I am, without one plea But that thy blood was shed for me
And that thou bidd’st me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Power of God’s Word – Family Devotion – June 21, 2021

Read: Mark 4:26-34

It [the kingdom of God] is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.
Mark 4:31-32

The Power of God’s Word

 

Family Devotion – June 21, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 4:31-32

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Look at your fingernail. Not from the top, but from the side. See how thin it is? Maybe one millimeter? That’s about the size of a mustard seed. Now think about the tallest giraffe at the zoo. A mustard seed grows into a tree that’s even taller than that giraffe.

So when Jesus was talking about the kingdom of God growing, he was using the tiniest thing people back then might plant—and they’d know how amazing it was that such a small thing could grow into an enormous tree.

The problem is . . . a mustard seed doesn’t grow on its own. A seed can’t just tell itself “Hey, grow!” That’s not how trees and plants work. Everything that grows needs soil and sun and water too.

Your faith is like a mustard seed. It can’t grow on its own. It needs to be planted to grow. It needs God’s words (you find those words in the Bible) and friends, family, teachers, and pastors. The Holy Spirit (who is God) takes the words you read and the words people speak to you to plant your faith and to help it grow. He helps you know that Jesus is the only way to heaven. He helps you understand what you’re hearing and put it into practice. He helps you be kind, patient, gentle. He encourages you to use self-control and persevere when things are hard. Through his work, your faith—which might seem so small at first—grows big and strong.

What’s hard is that while the Bible tells us our faith can be HUGE, it doesn’t always feel that way. Sometimes it feels like faith shrinks back to the size of the seed. We aren’t always patient, kind, or good. We don’t always control the words that come out of our mouth, sometimes we don’t even control our hands and use them to hurt others. Sometimes we just want to stop doing the right thing and do what we feel like doing, not what God says is the good path to take.

Honestly, that’s going to happen because we are human and sinful. We do things that don’t make God happy. But there’s good news too. In another passage in the Bible Jesus said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

See, none of this is actually about the size of the seed or the size of the plant. It’s all about the size of your God and the power of his words to make you grow.

God’s the one who makes things grow.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Holy Spirit, thank you for working through the words of the Bible to help my faith grow. Thank you for giving me family and friends who share those words. Thank you for planting faith in my heart and helping it grow. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Have you ever planted seeds for a garden or for flowers?
  • God’s Word helps plant seeds of faith in our hearts. Do you have a favorite passage or song that tells you God’s words?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Have you ever planted seeds for a garden or for flowers? If so, what’s your favorite thing to grow? Name two things that help our faith grow. (devotions, worship, text Bible passages, etc.)
  • If God’s Word helps plant faith seeds in our hearts, what time should we set aside for devotions: in the morning or before bed?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Tell me about a time when your faith seemed big.
  • Name a person in your life with a “big” faith. Think about what they did to help it grow.

Hymn: CW 405:1,3 – Oh, for a Faith that Will Not Shrink

Oh, for a faith that will not shrink Though pressed by many a foe,
That will not tremble on the brink Of poverty or woe,

A faith that shines more bright and clear When tempests rage without,
That, when in danger, knows no fear, In darkness feels no doubt,

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Will Lock Up Satan Once and for All – Family Devotion – June 18, 2021

Read: Revelation 20:1-10

Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown.
Revelation 20:6

Jesus Will Lock Up Satan Once and for All

 

Family Devotion – June 18, 2021

Devotion based on Revelation 20:6

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

What is your favorite movie?

Chances are a big reason you like that movie is because it has an amazing ending. The bad guys lose. The good guys win. The problem is solved.

Life on earth has a very dramatic ending—a good ending for us, not so good for Satan.

In vivid word pictures, today’s Word of God tells us that believers in Jesus will have struggles in this life, but on judgment day we will join him in heaven to rule with him forever! It also tells us that Satan will be bound up for 1,000 years and then let loose. The 1,000 years represents the current time you and I are living in, leading up to judgment day. In his wisdom, God allows Satan some power and influence in life. He’ll have the greatest influence right before judgment day.

And then… the ending.

Jesus will throw Satan into hell (the lake of burning sulfur) and lock him up with all of his followers forever. His power and influence will be completely destroyed.

Since we know the ending of life on earth is an amazing one, we can live with hope and purpose even on our bad days. Nothing can take away how happy we are to be alive and believe in Jesus until we get to live with him in heaven! How awesome that any time we are in trouble, we can pray right then and there to Jesus just like God’s priests

Lots of people are scared to think of the end of life. They try not to think about it. They’re not sure what will happen to them. We get to tell them the ending is awesome, thanks to Jesus! He gives us his power to do some pretty incredible things on earth. We get to pass on his forgiveness to others. We get to lighten people’s pain and suffering with our hope in Jesus.

Knowing our ending is good because of Jesus makes each day we live now special. Give thanks for today. Get ready to live tomorrow with a purpose because you are another day closer to heaven.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, what an awesome ending you have written for my life on earth! Someday, you will do away with everything evil. Someday, we will live and rule with you forever. Thank you for making this great ending possible. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Who will lock Satan up forever?
  • Where do you get to go forever because of Jesus?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Do you have any fears about judgment day? Why does the Bible say believers in Jesus don’t have to be afraid of judgment day?
  • Since we know the ending to life is a good one for us, how can we feel each and every day?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Name one fear, one doubt, or one pain in life that is taking away your happiness.
  • Based on today’s Word of God, what is the solution to your fear, doubt, or pain?

Hymn: CW 207:5 – The Day is Surely Drawing Near

My Savior paid the debt I owe
And for my sin was smitten;
Within the Book of Life I know
My name has now been written.
I will not doubt, for I am free,
And Satan cannot threaten me;
There is no condemnation!

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Promised to Crush Satan – Family Devotion – June 16, 2021

Read: Genesis 3:8-15

And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.
Genesis 3:15

God Promised to Crush Satan

 

Family Devotion – June 16, 2021

Devotion based on Genesis 3:15

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Satan made me do it.”

“Satan did this to me.”

When someone is trying to explain why they did something wrong, those phrases might come in handy! The first phrase suggests Satan can have influence on your thoughts, words, and actions. The second phrase demonstrates he’s powerful and he’s against you.

The truth is, Satan can’t make you do it (as if you have no choice!). Satan never appears in a red suit with horns and a pitchfork to say, “Hi. I’m Satan and I’m here to ruin your life.” Much like a fisherman, he hides his hook with something attractive and appetizing. He says, “You are your own person. You don’t have to listen to your mom or dad or anybody else over you.” He wants you to take his bait like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. He hopes you think he is strong and that you feel you’re stuck in a mess with no way out.

Thank God he stepped in with the world-changing announcement in Genesis 3:15. He promised this is how the conflict would end between Jesus and Satan: “He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel.” To crush a body part means to step on it. Jesus would crush Satan’s head. Satan would crush Jesus’ heel. But there’s a difference in stepping on someone’s head and stepping on someone’s heel. Crushed heels hurt but will heal. You’ll survive. Jesus would receive such an injury. The sting of his suffering was real. His death was crushing. But he survived when he rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. Satan, however, lost his head. The gravestone that rolled aside to show Jesus to be alive is the same one that crushed Satan’s head.

Satan can try to make you do and say things that make you think he’s powerful. But he can’t change anyone who clings to Jesus in faith. Satan knows he is beaten. He knows Jesus freed us and now we’re safe!

How can you stay close to the Crusher today? How can you live confidently in Jesus’ victory today?

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for crushing Satan! You went through so much to do that. Keep me safe from Satan always. Let me live confidently today that you have already beaten Satan. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Who promised to crush Satan?
  • How did Jesus crush Satan?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Do you think Satan is scary? Why or why not?
  • What can you do when you are afraid of Satan?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Explain a way Satan still tries to crush your spirit.
  • Describe what it looks like to live everyday knowing that Jesus crushed Satan. What does this mean for how we can approach life?

Hymn: CW 146:1 – His Battle Ended There

His battle ended there, death was overcome
Jesus, alive again, wore the victor’s crown.
Clearly sin had failed; Goodness had prevailed.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Works Against Satan – Family Devotion – June 14, 2021

Read: Mark 3:20-35

So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.
Mark 3:23-26

Jesus Works Against Satan

 

Family Devotion – June 14, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 3:23-26

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

When is the last time you went to the zoo and saw a lion? Why did you feel safe seeing a lion even though lions are strong, ferocious animals with sharp teeth? Chances are you were standing behind a fence of some kind—a strong barrier between you and the lion. But if you jumped the fence and stood next to the lion, you would have every reason to not feel safe!

This week we’ll be talking about Satan, our enemy The Bible calls him a lion that’s prowling around, looking for someone to eat. Yikes! We want to be aware of Satan’s power and his desire to take down Christians because he is against God.

We’ll also be talking about the many ways Jesus is like a barrier between us and Satan. As long as we’re standing next to Jesus, he’ll keep us safe from Satan.

In our verses for today, Jesus points out that fact. Satan, who is only evil, and Jesus, who is only good, are enemies. Jesus went around driving demons out of people to help them. But some people accused Jesus of being on Satan’s side. They said he was using Satan’s power to drive out demons.

Jesus points out how silly that sounds. Why would Satan be against himself? The truth is Jesus and Satan are total opposites of each other.

Satan (and anyone against God) is not on your side. He is actually looking to harm you. BUT—you can live with confidence each day because Jesus is on your side and is against Satan. Best of all, he is stronger than Satan. He’s like an impenetrable barrier between you and Satan!

So, knowing this, you’re wise not to mess around with Satan or anything against God. How does Satan try to mess with us? Satan likes to use lies to deceive us. He also tries to use accusations and guilt to drive us to despair.

Surround yourself with God’s Word and God’s people who can point out Satan’s lies that you might be tempted to believe. Any time you feel Satan accusing you, just tell him “Jesus is on my side!”

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for being my barrier between me and Satan. Help me to always stay close you and to be aware of Satan. I know I have nothing to fear with you by my side. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Is Satan mean or nice?
  • Who is always working against Satan?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why does the Bible call the devil a lion?
  • Think of two different ways that Satan tries to mess with us.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Discuss at least two common lies that Satan tries to get you and others to believe. How can you combat these lies?
  • Satan likes to try and destroy us with accusations and guilt. What’s the way God wants you to deal with your guilt?

Hymn: CW 200:1,2 – A Mighty Fortress is Our God

A mighty fortress is our God, A trusty shield and weapon;
He helps us free from ev’ry need That has us now o’ertaken.
The old evil foe Now means deadly woe; Deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight; On earth is not his equal.

With might of ours can naught be done; Soon were our loss effected.
But for us fights the valiant one Whom God himself elected.
You ask, “Who is this?” Jesus Christ it is, The almighty Lord.
And there’s no other God; He holds the field forever.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Laws Were the Shadow, Jesus Is the Reality – Family Devotion – June 11, 2021

Read: Colossians 2:13-17

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross… Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Colossians 2:13-14,16-17

The Laws Were the Shadow, Jesus Is the Reality

 

Family Devotion – June 11, 2021

Devotion based on Colossians 2:13-14,16-17

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Do you like looking at your shadow? Shadows are fun, aren’t they? You can use shadows to made animal shapes out of your hands. At just the right angle, you can look like a giant using your shadow!

Shadows are created by sunlight or other light shining on an object. If the sun is behind a person, that person’s shadow will arrive at a place before they do. The shadow “announces” the arrival of the person before they get there.

In the same way, God once used special festivals, celebrations, and other laws as “shadows.” They pointed people to deep needs they had of forgiveness, spiritual rescue, and rest. They announced the future arrival of someone who would really provide those very things. Once that someone, Jesus, arrived, these shadows would no longer be necessary.

But some people were holding onto these shadows too tightly. They were looking to these laws and traditions to give them what only Jesus could really give. That’s why Paul urged the Colossians, “Do not let anyone judge you!” He wanted them to speak up about how Jesus is what we really need—not following laws and traditions that are only shadows.

So let’s look at ourselves. Do we sometimes place too much importance on things like what day we go to church or what we wear to church ? Can you tell the difference between what’s a “shadow” and what is really about Jesus? Do we believe and live like we are free from shadows—thanks to Jesus who freed our hearts from sin?

Secondly, do we speak up to others who want laws and traditions to be what’s most important rather than Jesus who is our only focus?

Thank God there’s more than just shadows! We have Jesus and all he has really done. He’s the reason you can honestly say you don’t owe God anything. Jesus paid it all. He’s the real deal!

Believe and live like it!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, you did what laws, customs, and traditions could not. You paid the debt of sin I owed to God the Father. Help me speak up to others who are caught in the shadows and point them to you.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Use your finger and make the sign of the cross in the air. Of what does that symbol remind you?
  • Name two things you are thankful for that only Jesus could do for you?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What does it mean that Jesus canceled our debt? What was our debt?
  • What’s the most important thing God wants you know is true and real?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Name two traditions that are unique to your church. Discuss why you observe them. Are there any customs or traditions about church or faith that you might put too much of an emphasis on? Are there any “shadows” that trip you up?
  • What’s the best response if someone is judging you?

Hymn: CW 397:1,6 – Just as I Am, without One Plea

Just as I am, without one plea But that they blood was shed for me
And that thou bidd’st me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am; thy love unknown Has broken ev’ry barrier down.
Now to be thine, yea, thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Unique Exception to God’s Laws by Grace – Family Devotion – June 9, 2021

Read: 1 Samuel 21:1-6

“Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”
But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here… So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.
1 Samuel 21:3-4a,6

A Unique Exception to God’s Laws by Grace

 

Family Devotion – June 9, 2021

Devotion based on 1 Samuel 21:3-4a,6

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Have you ever turned homework in late? If so, what was the reason? What did your teacher do?

The teacher has every right to lower your grade if your homework is late, don’t they? They made a rule as to when the homework was due, but you didn’t follow the rule.

Perhaps you were sick or had a really bad day, and that’s why your homework was turned in late. If your teacher didn’t lower your grade even though it was turned in late, they gave you a unique exception to their rule. They showed you grace, perhaps because they saw you were in need! (Maybe you can even thank them in person for that act of grace.)

That’s what happened to David. He and his friends were running for their lives from King Saul. They were very hungry. The only food around was special bread that was dedicated to the Lord. God made a law that this bread was only to be eaten by the priests, so the priest could have turned David away.

But God had compassion on David, so he caused Ahimelek, the priest, to give the bread to David and his friends. God knew David needed that bread to survive. Even though it was “breaking the rules,” God gave him the bread and showed grace to him and his friends. Jesus even mentions this story of grace when he’s talking with the Pharisees (check out Mark 2:23-28 from Monday’s devotion).

God cares for us deeply. His rules are important, and he wants them to be followed. They are for our own good (Just like the teacher’s rule of turning your homework in on time). And God also knows when we most need grace on a daily basis—when we need compassion when we haven’t followed his rules.

In fact, the whole reason God sent Jesus was because he cares about the rules AND he cares about us even more! Since Jesus lived a perfect life and died on the cross in our place, he made up for all the times we didn’t follow the rules and he paid the price for us breaking the rules.

So thank God today for his grace—that’s his undeserved, one-way love. There are so many times each day you probably don’t realize that God shows you grace. That’s who he is.

Can you trust a God like that? Absolutely! So trust him in everything today.

Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me so much. Thank you for finding a way to save me through Jesus. This was your best act of grace! Help me see the daily, little ways you show me grace. Help me trust you more and more since you’re such an amazing God. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What did David want the priest to give him?
  • What did Jesus do to show us grace?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why did Ahimelek make an exception to the rule for David and his friends?
  • As a family, have each person think of one way God showed them a little bit of grace today or yesterday.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Explain this statement: Sending Jesus to live and die for us is proof that God cares deeply about his rules (his holiness) and also cares deeply about every single person.
  • What’s one challenging thing you’ve been wanting to do, but you haven’t tried? What if you took a risk and gave it a shot? Is this a time to trust God’s grace?

Hymn: CW 381:1,2 – Grace Has a Thrilling Sound

Grace has a thrilling sound To each believer’s ear;
That peace with God through Christ is found Is news I gladly hear.

Grace led my wand’ring feet To tread the heav’nly road,
And grace supplies each hour I meet While pressing on to God.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Lord of the Sabbath – Family Devotion – June 7, 2021

Read: Mark 2:23-28

One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Mark 2:23-24, 27-28

Lord of the Sabbath

 

Family Devotion – June 7, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 2:23-24, 27-28

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

A man was seen digging holes in the dirt with a shovel, then filling the holes with the same dirt. Someone asked him what he was doing. He replied, “I’m planting trees. The guy in charge of bringing the trees to plant didn’t show up, but I’m still going to do my job so I don’t get in trouble.”

The man’s digging and filling of holes was pointless because in the end, no trees were planted. He thought his actions would please his boss and would prevent him from getting into trouble, but in the end his boss was probably upset that he wasted time!

A group called the Pharisees were just like the man digging and filling holes. They thought the reason God gave laws like the Sabbath (which was a day of rest to focus on God and his Word) was to make God happy and make up for when they were bad. They told on Jesus’ disciples. “They broke the rule for picking grain on the Sabbath!” they exclaimed.

Here’s how Jesus answered them: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” In other words, “You’re missing the point!” God made the Sabbath law to encourage his people to find true rest in him, his promises, and his Word. Jesus said, “I am Lord even of the Sabbath.” In other words, Jesus makes God happy because he is the Lord who is also the Savior! He simply invites us to find rest, approval, and love in him.

Are you trying to make God happy or earn someone’s approval and love by following rules? Here’s a way to check: how do you act when no one’s looking? If you obey the rules only when someone is watching, you just might be caught in the trap of trying to earn approval.

Here’s a better way: let your heart rest in God’s promises. Be happy in the fact that God is already happy with and loves you because of Jesus. All that matters is Jesus. He is Lord of the Sabbath. Get close to him. Rest in his care. Then, follow the rules simply out of joy and thanks for having a Savior like him!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for being Lord of the Sabbath and giving me love and approval because of your life, death, and resurrection! Forgive me for trying to earn your approval or someone else’s. Fill my heart with confidence in your love and then watch me serve you with joy! Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Who was angry at Jesus and his disciples for picking grain on the Sabbath?
  • Who loves you so much and approves of you because of his life, death, and resurrection?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What does Sabbath mean? Why did God want people to observe the Sabbath?
  • Do we follow God’s rules to earn his approval or simply to show thanks for all of his love?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why is it easy to fall into the trap of trying to earn God’s or someone else’s love and approval?
  • Explain what Jesus meant by saying he is Lord of the Sabbath. How does the fact that he is Lord of the Sabbath bring you comfort?

Hymn: CW 401:1,5 – Your Works, Not Mine, O Christ

Your works, not mine, O Christ, Speak gladness to this heart.
They tell me all is done; They bid my fear depart.
To whom but you, who can alone for sin atone, Lord, shall I flee?

Your righteousness, O Christ, Alone can cover me;
No other righteousness Can set a sinner free
To whom but you, who can alone for sin atone, Lord, shall I flee?

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Triune God Is in a Close Relationship With Us – Family Devotion – June 4, 2021

Read: Romans 8:14-17

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:14-15

The Triune God Is in a Close Relationship With Us

 

Family Devotion – June 4, 2021

Devotion based on Romans 8:14-15

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Ashley had been waiting for months. Ever since she had gotten her driver’s license, she had been looking forward to driving herself and her friends on an overnight trip. Even more exciting, her dad was finally willing to lend her the car for two whole days! Dad talked to her often about the big responsibility that she would have. Dad made sure she knew exactly where she was going and what to do if she faced a problem like a flat tire. “You can always call me…” he kept saying. “No matter where you are or what time it is… call me, and I’ll make sure to pick you up.”

It is such a comfort to have someone who we can always call. Someone who can give us help and advice when we’re stuck or in trouble. Someone who cares for us and is ready and eager to help when we are in need. That’s one of the reasons the relationship we have with our own parents or other grown-ups who take care of us is so special. Even if we’re in big trouble—even trouble that is our own fault—it’s a great comfort to know we have someone to call.

With God our Father, Jesus our Savior, and the Holy Spirit our Counselor, we always have someone to call! When we find ourselves lost, or fearful, or afraid, God hears us when we call on him. Even when our troubles have come from our own sins and failures, God still calls us his children.

God not only calls us his children, he made us his children. When we were baptized, God himself put his name on us and made us a part of his family. The name into which we were baptized reminds us of the beautiful power of the Trinity: “I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit!” Baptism makes us children of God who are forgiven from our sins. Baptism makes us sons and daughters of God who will be a part of God’s family forever in heaven.

When we think of the Holy Trinity, we think of a God who made us part of his family and who will always rescue us when we are in trouble and lead us back home to him. “You can always call me,” he says. We say, “Thank you, Father!”

Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to save me and make me a part of your family. Thank you also for sending your Holy Spirit to lead me to know all about you. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Name two people you want to help you when you are in trouble. Why them?
  • What are the names of the three persons who saved us from trouble when we were baptized?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • There is a special kind of love that a child adopted into a family share with each other. How does it make you feel to know you have been “adopted” into God’s family?
  • What’s the difference between “slaves” and “sons” according to Paul?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Paul says that the Holy Spirit gives us the faith to call God our Father. Name two ways your life would be different if the Holy Spirit had NOT given you faith.
  • Agree or disagree: “Being a child of God is both an honor and a responsibility.” Explain.

Hymn: CW 449:1,4 – Children of the Heavenly Father

Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in his bosom gather;
Nestling bird or star in heaven
Such a refuge ne’er was given.

Though he giveth or he taketh,
God his children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Triune God Is Holy and Yet Forgiving – Family Devotion – June 2, 2021

Read: Isaiah 6:1-8

I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Isaiah 6:1-3

The Triune God Is Holy and Yet Forgiving

 

Family Devotion – June 2, 2021

Devotion based on Isaiah 6:1-3

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dontrell knew he shouldn’t have said the words that he did. He probably shouldn’t have even thought about them. But the words sort of tumbled out of his mouth before he had a chance to stop them. And his teacher heard what he said. “This assignment stinks.” Dontrell knew it was a rude thing to say. And he could see that his teacher was disappointed by what he had said. Because of his outburst, the whole class was looking at him. He wanted to disappear, or at least hide somewhere in the classroom where no one would see him.

Everyone knows that “uh-oh” feeling. Sometimes we feel it when we’ve said something we shouldn’t have said. Sometimes we feel it when we’ve wandered somewhere where we don’t belong. Sometimes, we have to tell the truth to someone who’s very big and we feel very small.

Isaiah knew all about the “uh-oh” feeling. When he was anointed as a prophet of God, he suddenly saw just how great and holy God really was. He had a vision of a holy place that sinful human beings shouldn’t be able to see. Standing in the throne room of God, the Almighty King, Isaiah saw that God is perfect—and that Isaiah was not. “Uh-oh! I shouldn’t be here! I can’t tell the truth to someone so holy! I’ve said things I shouldn’t have and done things I shouldn’t have! Woe is me!”

But God changed Isaiah’s “woe” to “whoa!” Instead of punishment, God gave Isaiah a promise: “I forgive you! Your sins are paid for (that is, atoned). Your guilt is gone.” In all his power, our holy God makes us holy by making an atonement for our sins.

The teacher called Dontrell to the front of the room. But rather than a punishment, the teacher saw an opportunity: “Let’s see if this assignment stinks or not… we’re going to work through it together!” The teacher taught, and Dontrell got to be the teacher’s helper. In his grace, God puts us to work, too! Our holy God forgives our sins and makes us holy, allows us to see his power, and then puts us to work in his kingdom. We have a God who forgives, strengthens, and sends… the whole earth is full of his glory!

Closing Prayer:

God, you are holy. That means you are perfect both in your power and in your love. Help me remember your perfection every day of my life until I see you face to face in heaven. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What kind of person sits on a throne?
  • How many times did the angels call God “holy”?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Artists sometimes picture angels as cute or gentle creatures. How did the angels Isaiah saw compare?
  • God’s holiness was so pure that even the angels would not look at him. What made Isaiah so afraid to look at God?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Isaiah refers to himself as “unclean” because of his sins. Think of another picture that we could use to describe the problem our sins cause for us?
  • The angel said that Isaiah’s sins were “atoned for” with a coal from an altar. What does “atone” mean? With what were your sins atoned for?

Hymn: CW 190:1 – Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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Saved by the Son – Family Devotion – May 31, 2021

Read: John 3:1-17

For 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17

Saved by the Son

 

Family Devotion – May 31, 2021

Devotion based on John 3:16-17

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sometimes, “making a trade” can be a lot of fun. We sit down to eat lunch with our classmates and notice that one of the items in our lunchbox is something we don’t like. A friend may notice and say, “want to trade? I’ll give you something of mine for something of yours.” That’s fun! But other times, “making a trade” can be very hard for us. We go to the store and see something we want. But in order to have it, we have to pay for it. We are glad to get the item we love, but it’s never free.

The one thing in the whole world that God wants most for us is a relationship with him. He was willing to pay any price and trade his most precious possession so that he would have us with him in heaven forever.

When we celebrate Trinity Sunday, we think of the amazing God that we have—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are three persons yet one God. And each person of the Trinity is 100% committed to us. In John 3:16, we are able to realize just how much God was willing to give. We hear that God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—loved the world. And he loved the world so much! How much was the Father willing to give? Not a bank full of bills and coins, but his one and only Son. How far was the Son willing to go? He was more than a friend. He was our Savior who sacrificed his own life on the cross for us. How much is the Holy Spirit willing to do? He spends every moment telling the world the amazing story of Jesus. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit work together so that everyone can believe in Jesus and enjoy heaven someday.

Sometimes, it’s hard for us to “make a trade” because we don’t want to lose out on things that are valuable to us. Other times, it’s easy for us to “make a trade” as long as we get the thing that we really want. God made the most important trade ever: he exchanged his greatest possession, his Son Jesus, for our sins, so that he would get what he always wanted—you. What a trade God made to save us and bring us home to be with him forever in heaven!

Closing Prayer:

God the Father give us grace
To walk in the light of Jesus’ Face.
God the Son give us a part
In the hiding-place of Jesus’ Heart:
God the Spirit so hold us up
That we may drink of Jesus’ cup.
(by Christina Rossetti)

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • What are words we use when we want something or when someone gives us a gift?
  • God loved the world with all his heart. Who did God send to save every person in the world?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name the most valuable and most special thing that belongs to you. Why would it be hard to give it away to someone else?
  • Jesus might have thought that his Father wasn’t being fair when he sent Jesus to save the world. Why was Jesus willing to go?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • In the well-known passage of John 3:16, we can clearly see both God the Father and God the Son at work. Where do you see God the Holy Spirit working in John 3:16?
  • What might you say to someone who is feeling lonely or guilty and says “I don’t know if I can ever be sure that God loves me…” Offer proof of God’s love from each person of the Holy Trinity.

Hymn: CW 391:1,6 – God Loved the World So that He Gave

God loved the world so that he gave His only Son the lost to save
That all who would in him believe Should everlasting life receive.

Glory to God the Father, Son, And Holy Spirit, Three in One!
To you, O blessed Trinity, Be praise now and eternally!

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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 Holy Spirit Came in Power – Family Devotion – May 28, 2021

Read: Acts 2:1-21

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:1-4

The Holy Spirit Came in Power

 

Family Devotion – May 28, 2021

Devotion based on Acts 2:1-4

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Airports can be very noisy places. Out on the runways, huge jet engines roar as dozens of airplanes arrive and depart. Hundreds of trucks and transporters rumble back and forth with carts full of bags and cargo. Inside the airport is a noisy place too. Hundreds of people hurry from one place to another. They need to move quickly so that they aren’t late for their flight! The noisiest and busiest airports are the ones where people arrive from all over the world. Not only are there more planes, but there are more people—and many of them speak different languages. If you listen carefully, you can hear all sorts of things at once.

On the day of Pentecost, the city of Jerusalem was a busy place. People from all over the world had come to worship God. But not very many of them knew about God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Only a few weeks before, Jesus died for the sins of the world and rose to life again on Easter. But only a few followers of Jesus knew truth of that exciting news. None of them knew how to share that story—especially in someone else’s language!

The Holy Spirit had been waiting for this opportunity. On that busy day in Jerusalem, he wanted the story of Jesus to spread. So the Holy Spirit went to work with great power: he worked in the hearts of the disciples to give them courage to speak, and then he worked in the minds of the disciples to give them the ability to speak, even in different languages! Suddenly, all the visitors in the busy city could understand the story of Jesus! Whether they had come from Egypt, Africa, Rome, or anywhere else, all the people heard the story of Jesus in words they could understand.

Today, the Holy Spirit still works through people who share the story of Jesus in many parts of the world. Not just pastors and missionaries, but people like you and me! While we might not see the same kinds of sudden miracles the disciples did, like tongues of fire and instant language learning, the same powerful Holy Spirit of God lives in us. We can be like those first disciples and confidently tell everyone we know the exciting news about Jesus, because the Holy Spirit’s power is at work in us!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Holy Spirit, help me use the tools and the time you give me to share the truth of Jesus. Help pastors, teachers, and missionaries do what they do for your glory. May the whole world know the story of God’s love in Jesus. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • Name someone you know who is able to speak a different language.
  • If you could share Jesus’ love with anyone, who would it be?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • It usually takes many years to learn a new language. On the day of Pentecost, it took only an instant for the disciples to learn. What does that teach us about God’s power and plans that day?
  • If you read all of today’s lesson, the Holy Spirit’s power is displayed in loud sounds, flames, and different languages. How does it make you feel to realize that this same powerful Spirit lives in you as you tell people about Jesus?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • When Jesus’ disciples started speaking, some people were eager to hear their message. Others made fun of them. What’s the lesson we learn from that today?
  • If you were a pastor, teacher, or missionary, name a country where you would be excited to serve. Identify a cultural challenge you would need to overcome in order to share Jesus.

Hymn: CW 176:1 – Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord

Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord! May all your graces be outpoured
On each believer’s mind and heart; Your fervent love to them impart.
Lord, by the brightness of your light In holy faith your church unite
From ev’ry land and ev’ry tongue;
This to your praise, O Lord our God, be sung: Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

Family Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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