“Good News” Messengers – Family Devotion – January 24, 2022

Read: Isaiah 61:1-6

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.
Isaiah 61:1-2

“Good News” Messengers

 

Family Devotion – January 24, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 61:1-2

See series: Devotions

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

Amelia and her grandma enjoyed spending time together. They went for walks, put puzzles together, and baked cookies. So, one day when Amelia’s parents told her that grandma was ill, Amelia became sad and quiet. She was sitting on her bed alone in her room when her dad came in and saw her sad face.

“Oh, Amelia! Are you sad about Grandma?” he asked. Amelia nodded. “It’s just that… Oh Dad,” she sobbed, “what can I do? Grandma was always so happy and excited to spend time with me and others she loved. But now she’s sick and can’t do any of it.”

Amelia’s dad wrapped his arms around her. “Sweetie, let’s make Grandma a card, reminding her how much God loves her and will take care of her. I have a feeling it will lift Grandma’s spirits, and it will do your heart good too.” As Amelia began to write in the card, she grew excited that she could bring her grandma the good news of God’s love.

By the time of our Scripture reading, God’s people, the Israelites, had already spent years in a cycle of loving and obeying God, then turning against him and doing what their sinful hearts wanted instead. God gave them many warnings. He even caused enemy armies to conquer and defeat them. In a way, you could say the Israelites were really sick. They weren’t ill in their body like Amelia’s grandma, but their souls were darkened by sin. God wanted the Israelites to come back to him. In his mercy, God promised to comfort them. He gave these words of prophecy about Jesus, the promised Savior.

Jesus wouldn’t be born for another 700 years, but God would not leave his people alone in a sin-darkened world. He sent Isaiah to warn his people, but also to be a messenger of good news for his people. Jesus is this good news. He heals broken hearts and souls. He comforts those who are sad. He frees people from behind the prison bars of sin.

Just like Amelia’s grandma needed a messenger to bring her good news and lift her spirits, people today need the good news of salvation to lift their spirits. Listen to God’s words, and then, just as Amelia shared God’s love with her grandma, you too can be a messenger and share it with others.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to be our Savior from sin. Help us turn from sin. Send your Holy Spirit to comfort us with your gospel and give us courage to be your messengers. 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

  • Amelia was sad her grandma was sick. What did she do for her grandma that made her excited?
  • Name two people who proclaim the good news about Jesus to you.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why did God send a messenger to the Israelites?
  • How can you be God’s messenger?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Evaluate and discuss this statement: We are like the Israelites.
  • Name someone in your life who really needs to hear God’s comforting message. Discuss as a family how you can share it with 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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How do you do the impossible? – Family Devotion – January 21, 2022

Read: Ephesians 3:14-21

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:16-19

How do you do the impossible?

 

Family Devotion – January 21, 2022

Devotion based on Ephesians 3:16-19

See series: Devotions

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

Are you ready for a puzzler? How can you be strong enough to lift a car over your head when you don’t have muscles big enough to pick up a feather? How can you understand something that can’t be fully known or understood? And finally, how can you fit more water into a glass that’s already full to the brim? This isn’t some weird, three-part Mind Trap riddle. This is an illustration of the three things the apostle Paul prayed that God would give to Christians. Read his prayer again in our verses for today. Did you hear it? Paul prays for the Ephesians (and you!) to have ultimate power and strength, deep knowledge, and overflowing fullness.

Whew, these are big thoughts! At first glance, they seem like complete opposites—you can’t be human and have ultimate power; it’s impossible to know something fully that can’t be known; and it’s one thing to overfill a glass, but to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God? But if our devotions this week have reminded us of anything it’s this: when God gives, he gives more than enough in Christ. That’s why the apostle Paul prays the way he does here, because he knows that in Christ, God doesn’t hold anything back from you when he gives.

Are you ready for another puzzler? How could sinful humans like us ever stand in the presence of a holy God? That’s an impossibility, isn’t it? We can’t pay the price for a single one of our sins, let alone all of them. There is nothing in us that can make us pleasing to God; there isn’t anything we could do to earn God’s favor. Because of our sin, we weren’t just spiritually weak; we were spiritually dead. But that’s exactly where God found us and made us alive in Christ.

God goes about the work of doing what should be impossible. He saved you and gave that salvation to you as a gift from Jesus. In Christ, God loved you with a love that knows no limits. On this side of heaven, we just begin to see how wide and long and high and deep God’s love is for us. It’s a love that led God to take on our human flesh and, to do what would seem impossible, die in our place! That’s the Love that found you when you weren’t looking for him. That’s the Love that does the impossible for you and in you, so that you are filled with his power, granted his surpassing knowledge, and filled to overflowing with his perfect righteousness. Give thanks that you have a God who does the impossible, and in Christ, he does it for you!

Closing Prayer:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! 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

  • How did God show how much he loves you?
  • Who is able to do the impossible?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • How could sinful people ever stand in the presence of a holy God?
  • Describe one thing you learned about God in today’s devotion that maybe you never thought of before.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • What exactly is the answer to Paul’s prayer for ultimate power, incomprehensible knowledge, and overflowing fullness?
  • Name one way you want to grow in your appreciation of God’s boundless love for 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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What’s in a name? – Family Devotion – January 19, 2022

Read: Isaiah 62:1-5

No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married.
Isaiah 62:4

What’s in a name?

 

Family Devotion – January 19, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 62:4

See series: Devotions

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

Do you know what your name means? Parents put some thought into naming their children. After all, your name is attached to you for life. It’s an important job to give someone a name! Names in the Bible usually have special significance. Eve was named Eve “because she would become the mother of all the living” (Genesis 3:20); Abram’s name was changed to Abraham because he would be “the father of many nations” (Genesis 17:4-5); Joseph was instructed to name Mary’s son Jesus “because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Names mean something.

You probably know how much it can hurt your feelings when someone is mean to you and calls you a bad name or an unkind nickname. Those names sting, because they draw all the attention to some mistake we’ve made, something bad we’ve done, or even something we didn’t have any control over.

The neighboring nations around Israel had some mean nicknames for them. Israel had stopped listening to the LORD. They had been pushed down by enemies and were going to face even more losing battles in the future. They were supposed to be God’s chosen, special people, but it didn’t look like they were. The neighbors called Israel “Deserted,” because it seemed like the LORD had left them all alone. They called Israel “Desolate,” because nothing good could possibly be there. But the LORD had other ideas and new names for his people. The new names sound kind of funny, but they have awesome meaning. The LORD declared that their new name would be Hephzibah, because “my delight is in her,” and Beulah because they would be joined to the LORD like a bride to her groom. The LORD was going to send a Savior to bring his people back to him.

Because of our sins, we deserved to be deserted and left alone by God forever. But God has given us a new name. It’s his name. In the water and promise of your Baptism, the Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—put his name on you. You are God’s own. Jesus has claimed you and joined you to himself like a bride to her groom. But he doesn’t stop there. He gives you another name: Hephzibah, because he delights in you! Not because you’ve earned it, but because God has taken away your sins in Christ and has made you beautiful, delightful, and joined to him forever.

Find out what your name means, and maybe you’ll learn something. Rejoice that God has named you as his own, and as he names you, so you are!

Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, what undeserved love you show us! Even though we deserve nothing from you because of our sin, in Christ you give us everything. Help us always to rejoice that you have placed your name on us in Baptism, and give us comfort to know that you delight in us. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, 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

  • Ask your parents to tell you why they named you what they did.
  • What does the name “Jesus” mean?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why did the nations around Israel call them “Deserted” and “Desolate”?
  • Who put his name on you when you were baptized?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • What do the names “Beulah” and “Hephzibah” mean?
  • What comfort is there in knowing that, in Christ, the LORD’s delight is in 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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Jesus gives more than enough – Family Devotion – January 17, 2022

Read: John 2:1-11

Jesus said, “Fill the jars with water;” so they filled them to the brim… and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine… This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
John 2:7,9,11

Jesus gives more than enough

 

Family Devotion – January 17, 2022

Devotion based on John 2:7,9,11

See series: Devotions

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

“There isn’t enough.” Usually, we say that when there’s a good thing, but not enough of that good thing to go around (think yummy pie for example). We always find ourselves wanting just a little bit more… but then, Jesus shows up! Have you ever noticed that when Jesus gives something, there’s always more than enough? Think of Jesus feeding the 5,000 and the twelve basketfuls of leftovers, or when he fed another crowd of 4,000 and the disciples collected seven baskets afterward. Jesus is more than generous, and he always gives more than enough.

When Jesus went to the wedding at Cana, there was a problem. As the bride and groom planned the wedding, they didn’t buy enough wine to last for the whole wedding feast—sometimes several days’ worth of eating and drinking. This wouldn’t be the end of the world, but running out of wine for the feast would be pretty embarrassing for the couple. Jesus’ mother, Mary, seemed to want to spare them this embarrassment, so she urged Jesus, “They have no more wine.” But Jesus had bigger plans; he wanted to pull back the curtain and show his disciples who he is—the Son of God who has come into the world. To meet the need at the wedding at Cana and to show himself to be true God, Jesus called for six large jars to be filled with water. When that water was drawn out and taken to the master of the banquet, it had become the finest wine—and not just a little, but enough to fill 600-900 bottles. Jesus gives more than enough!

At first, the way in which Jesus goes about this miracle looks a bit odd. They ran out of wine, so Jesus asked for… water? Here’s where it’s good to know something about Jesus. He knows the end already at the beginning. He knows the best way to give his generous, more-than-enough gifts to people who need them. Sometimes, we’re tempted to think that Jesus is holding out on us. We wish he’d give us more of the things we want, when we want them, and how we want them. We wish he’d make a bigger “splash” and show us his power and his love. But Jesus still knows the end at the beginning, and he knows how best to give you his generous, more-than-enough gifts.

Before you leave the wedding at Cana today, don’t forget to take this party favor: through the good news of the gospel, Jesus promises you that he has forgiven not just some, but all of your sins. In the water of your Baptism, Jesus clothes you, not with a clean shirt that’s too small, but a robe of his own perfection covering you. Thank God, Jesus gives more than enough!

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank you for always giving us more than we could ever ask or want. You know exactly what we need and when we need it. Thank you for providing for the needs of our bodies, but above all we thank you for the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation you lavish on us. Lead us to realize this and to receive all your gifts with thanksgiving, 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 they run out of at the wedding at Cana?
  • Who asked Jesus for help?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • How many jars did the servants fill with water?
  • What did the master of the banquet think of the water that Jesus turned into wine?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • When are you tempted to think that “there isn’t enough”?
  • How does Jesus go about giving us his generous, more-than-enough gifts?

 

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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He Saved Us – Family Devotion – January 14, 2022

Read: Titus 3:4-7

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his great mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Titus 3:5-6

He Saved Us

 

Family Devotion – January 14, 2022

Devotion based on Titus 3:5-6

See series: Devotions

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

Reread the first three words of our verse for today: “He saved us.” If you wanted to sum up the whole story of the Bible, those three words do it: God saved us. God doesn’t just leave us with a three-word sentence. On every page of Scripture, he explains why he needed to save us. Our problem is sin. It’s so serious that we can’t save ourselves. Salvation wasn’t a team effort with you doing your part and God doing his. Forgiveness of sins isn’t if you’re sorry enough or say it in just the right way. God didn’t choose to save you because you were so bright and shiny and beautiful. He did it because of his great mercy. God wants to show you his genuine kindness. Those three words sum up nicely what he decided to do for us—He saved us.

Where do we see that perfect rescue of God most fully and beautifully? In Jesus our Savior. From his conception to his birth to his baptism by John in the Jordan all the way to the cross and empty tomb, Jesus took our place and our sin. He even died to pay for them all. Because he rose from death to life, he could give us his new life. That’s the good news He saved us!

But wait, there’s more! God attaches that good news to you in a wonderful way—through the water and Word of your baptism. In Holy Baptism, God doesn’t just make a promise, he makes a promise to you! He connects you to Jesus and all that Jesus did to win salvation. Now you know how he saved us. Now you can live a new life, because the Holy Spirit gives you the kind of life your mom never could when you were born. That’s why you can live as a person made brand new in Christ. Now you live with a righteousness that is not your own, but the perfect righteousness of Jesus covering you from head to toe, body and soul. Even though you may look like any other person, your baptism tells another story about you. “He saved us,” Paul said. How do you know? Because God brought you into his family through water and the Word: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for pouring out your Holy Spirit on us through the washing of rebirth and renewal, connecting us to Jesus our Savior through Holy Baptism. Help us always to cling with faith to the simple promise that, in Christ, you have saved us from sin, death, and the devil’s power. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 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 saved us?
  • Why did he save us?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What is the most important message of the Bible?
  • How is Jesus able to give us such wonderful gifts in Baptism?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Look again at the focus verses. Can you find a reference to each person of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)?
  • What does it mean to have “rebirth” and “renewal”?

 

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 LORD Chooses – Family Devotion – January 12, 2022

Read: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7b

The LORD Chooses

 

Family Devotion – January 12, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Samuel 16:7b

See series: Devotions

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

If you’re the captain of your kickball team at recess on the school playground, whom do you choose first? Someone who can kick the ball the farthest or run the fastest and help your team play the game well. It’s easy to judge people based on what you can see on the outside—how fast they can run, how big they are, what kinds of clothes they wear, what color their skin is. These are all the things that our eyes can see, but what if your eyes don’t see the whole picture? “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” means that outward looks don’t tell us the full story of what’s inside.

God’s people needed a new king. Sadly, King Saul turned away and wasn’t listening to the LORD anymore, so the LORD sent the prophet Samuel on a special mission to anoint a new king. He would take a container of special oil and pour it out on the head of whomever God chose to be the next king. This was God’s way of setting this person apart for the special job of ruling over his people. Samuel saw seven of Jesse’s sons—strong looking men—and he thought each of them might be a good king for Israel. But the LORD didn’t choose any of them. Instead, the LORD chose the youngest son of Jesse, named David. David didn’t look like he’d be the best choice, but remember: Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

When the LORD looked at David, he could see everything in his heart. That’s why David prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God.” David knew he was sinful. What does the LORD see when he looks at you and your heart? A heart that always gladly listens to God’s Word and obeys my parents? A heart that always keeps God first in life? No! God sees all the ways we haven’t lived and loved like he tells us. So, we pray, “Create in me a pure heart, O God.”

Guess what, God heard our prayer! Jesus gave us his pure and sinless heart that loves God above all things and serves our neighbor in love. God chose you and set you apart—not with oil poured on your head, but with the water and Word of your baptism. Even though you might look weak or feel unimportant on the outside, when God looks at you, he sees a pure and dearly loved child. Because of your baptism, there’s more to you than meets the eye!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for choosing me to be your own. Please forgive my sins, and help me always remember that you have given me your perfect heart. 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 special job did the LORD give to the prophet Samuel?
  • The LORD didn’t look at David’s outward appearance; where did he look? Why?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why was King Saul not a good king anymore?
  • What does God see when he looks at you?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • How did God choose you and set you apart?
  • Think of at least one reason why it’s good not to judge people based just on what they look like outwardly.

 

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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What’s Jesus Doing Here? – Family Devotion – January 10, 2022

Read: Luke 3:15-17,21-23

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Luke 3:21-22

What’s Jesus Doing Here?

 

Family Devotion – January 10, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 3:21-22

See series: Devotions

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

“What’s he doing here?” When someone shows up in a place you’d least expect them, that’s the thing to say. You’ll find stories about A-list Hollywood celebrities spotted in all sorts of places other than the big screen—shopping at Costco, attending a middle school basketball game, or even serving drinks at a cousin’s wedding. What’s he doing here?

That may be the question John the Baptizer was asking himself as he saw Jesus of Nazareth coming toward him at the Jordan River to be baptized. “What’s he doing here?” John knew what he was supposed to do. His work was to prepare the way for the Lord, to make straight paths for him, to get everyone ready for the arrival of the promised Savior from God. So, John called people to turn away from their sins and gave them a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of their sins. But Jesus didn’t have any sins. So, what’s he doing here? He doesn’t seem to belong!

Jesus doesn’t seem to belong in many of the places we see him in the gospels—the eternal Son of God placed in a manger as a newborn; having dinner with tax collectors and sinners; reaching out to touch and heal the sick and unclean; hanging on a cross and dying like the worst criminal. What’s he doing here? The answer: saving you! There, on the banks of the Jordan River, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus, revealing him to John, to the crowds, and to us as the Son of God. From his baptism, Jesus would go on to undo the damage of sin—with each healing and every miracle, until he would go to the cross of Calvary and the empty tomb of Easter to do away with sin and its punishment once for all for you.

In his baptism, Jesus, the holy Son of God, was united with sinners so that we, sinners, are united with him in our baptism. Because of our sins, we don’t deserve to be anywhere close to God’s presence. But because of our Savior, Jesus, God our Father doesn’t look at us in surprise and ask, “What are you doing here?” He looks at us and says the very same thing he said about Jesus, “You are my son, my daughter, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Closing Prayer:

Dear Father, thank you for sending Jesus to take away all of our sins. Help us to remember our baptism and treasure the promises you have made us. 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

  • Who baptized Jesus?
  • Ask your parents to show you a picture of your baptism day and tell you about it.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Who descended on Jesus like a dove?
  • What does it mean that Jesus “took our place”?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • How can God say that he is “well pleased” with you?
  • What’s one way that you can remind yourself of your baptism every day?

 

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 is a Light for Everyone – Family Devotion – January 7, 2022

Read: Matthew 2:1-12

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

Jesus is a Light for Everyone

 

Family Devotion – January 7, 2022

Devotion based on Matthew 2:1,2

See series: Devotions

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

Think of all the different ways that we use light. We can use it to light up a dark room. We can use a light to point the way ahead, like using a flashlight. We can use a light to show something is important by highlighting it, like a piece of art or a sign. We use light in many different ways.

Today, God used a light to do the same thing. He used the light of a star to lead some astronomers (starwatchers) from hundreds of miles away in a different country so that they could find the Savior they had read and heard about.

God used a light to point the way, and then to show something very important. There, in Bethlehem, was something really important, something God had talked about in his Word for thousands of years! The Savior had been born.

The Savior wasn’t just for God’s chosen people, the Israelites. The Savior came for everyone. No wonder the wise men, who were not Israelites, were overjoyed when they found Mary, Joseph, and Jesus—they had found the one God had promised; the one who had come to save them from their sins.

The day we celebrate God using the light of a star to reveal to those wise men and to the whole world the Savior who had come for the whole world is called Epiphany. Epiphany means “to reveal.” By leading the wise men by starlight, God illuminated and revealed a Savior that had come for all people.

If God once directed one star to shine in one place for wise men to see Jesus, then will not God move heaven and earth to love us and lead us and direct our eyes to Jesus? The star the wise men followed is gone. But we still have a bright, shiny invitation to follow Jesus. We don’t need a star to guide us, because we have a Savior to guide us to see! We have his Word, his promises, and his invitation to follow, worship, serve, and trust in him.

Closing Prayer:

O Lord, you are the light of the world. As we celebrate your Epiphany, we thank you for revealing yourself to us as the Savior of all people. 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

  • The wise men followed a star to Jesus. After today’s devotion, can you draw a star that leads to Jesus?
  • What people did Jesus come to save?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Think of another Bible story that has stars in it? (Hint: Genesis 1)
  • What does Epiphany mean? Why do we celebrate it?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • The wise men were guided by a star, how does God continue to guide us today?
  • The wise men weren’t Jewish, yet they came to worship the King of the Jews? Why is this important?

 

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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You Are Heirs of God! – Family Devotion – January 5, 2022

Read: Galatians 4:4-7

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
Galatians 4:4,5,7

You Are Heirs of God!

 

Family Devotion – January 5, 2022

Devotion based on Galatians 4:4,5,7

See series: Devotions

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

Have you seen the movie Frozen? In it, the older sister, Elsa, inherits the crown and becomes queen when her father dies in a shipwreck. Do you know why she becomes the queen? Because she was the heir to the throne. An heir is someone who inherits or is given something when someone dies. In this case, King Agnarr died, and his daughter Elsa was his heir, so she was given the crown to be queen. It is special to be an heir.

In our Bible reading, God calls you an heir. Do you know why? God had a plan set to make you an heir before he even created the world. Then, when everything was just right, he put his plan into action. He sent Jesus to redeem us. Jesus lived and died and rose again to pay for our sins so that we could be God’s children. When we were baptized, God put his name on us and adopted us into his family. You and I are sons and daughters of God. That also makes us his heirs.

Did you know that you are an heir to something that is extremely valuable? It isn’t a crown, a big chest of gold, a huge house, or a fancy sports car. But look at the treasures of being part of God’s family. We can talk to God confidently; we can call him our Father and know that he will hear and act on all our prayers in a loving and gracious manner. He will answer our prayers in the way that is the absolute best for us!

But do you know the best part of being God’s heirs? Someday, we will inherit eternal life with God in heaven. There we will live in beautiful mansions filled with treasure beyond belief. We will see all our believing family members from our time on earth. And Jesus, our brother, will be with us forever!

Closing Prayer:

Dear God, I love you for all kinds of reasons. You made me your child, a member in your family, and an heir of all that is yours. Thank you for your forgiveness, your never-ending love, and the eternal life that is now mine. 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

  • In the movie Frozen, who was King Agnarr’s heir? In today’s devotion, who is God’s heir?
  • Tell your parents something special they have that someday you would like to be given as an heir. Then tell your parents something special God has already given you.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What happened in order for you to become God’s heir?
  • Why is it important to know that we can talk to God as a loving father?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Name two things that we inherit because we are heirs of God.
  • How does knowing that you are God’s heir change how you ought to feel about yourself and your life?

 

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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Redemption’s Song – Family Devotion – January 3, 2022

Read: Luke 1:68-75

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
Luke 1:68

Redemption’s Song

 

Family Devotion – January 3, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 1:68

See series: Devotions

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

What is your favorite song? Why is it your favorite? Is it because it has a good beat? Does it have a beautiful melody? Is it because of the words or the story the song tells?

Today’s Bible reading is a song. It is called the Benedictus (beh·nuh·dik·tuhs). It was first sung by a man named Zechariah, who was the father of John the Baptist. When you get a chance, read through the whole song. You can tell Zechariah was excited, wasn’t he? He was full of joy! He wanted to praise and thank his God! Why?

Well, God had just blessed Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, with a son, even though they were old. Through the angel Gabriel, God had told him that his son was going to be the one who would prepare the way for the Savior. Not only did Zechariah have the birth of a son to celebrate, he was rejoicing that his Savior was coming soon! So many reasons to be excited and rejoice. So, Zechariah sings!

He sings about how God was keeping the promises he had made through the Old Testament prophets. He sings about how God is coming to show mercy and rescue him and all people from their spiritual enemies. He sings about how God is sending a Savior to redeem them. To redeem them means to buy back. For example, let’s pretend you lost your favorite toy or electronic device. You looked everywhere but couldn’t find it. Then, weeks later, you happened to see your toy at the thrift store. To get it back, you would have to pay for it. So, you redeem it, you buy back what was originally yours.

Our sins separated us from God. We were lost. So, God redeemed us. He paid the price that it cost to forgive our sins so that we could be his again. Jesus, that special child Zechariah was looking forward to and who we just celebrated being born in Bethlehem, redeemed us.

At Christmas, it isn’t just Zechariah who should be excited and singing for joy. We are too! We sing for joy with Zechariah because the Savior, who redeems us from our sins, is born!

Closing Prayer:

Praise be to you, Lord, because you have come to your people and redeemed us. You have redeemed me and rescued me from my spiritual enemies. You have filled my heart with joy! Enable me to serve you in all I do. 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

  • Zechariah sang a song of praise. Can you sing your favorite Christmas song?
  • To redeem means to buy back. Do you need to pay anything for your sins? Why not?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What is a favorite Christmas song you love to sing? (And if a child wants to sing it, let them!)
  • What price did Jesus have to pay to buy you back?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Zechariah was excited that God was keeping his promise to send a Savior. Can you list another promise God makes to you that he kept?
  • We often try to make up for the things we do wrong. Why doesn’t that work? What did Zechariah’s song tell us to do instead?

 

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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Are You Proud of Your Family? – Family Devotion – December 31, 2021

Read: Hebrews 2:10-18

Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
Hebrews 2:11

Are You Proud of Your Family?

 

Family Devotion – December 31, 2021

Devotion based on Hebrews 2:11

See series: Devotions

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

Have you ever been embarrassed by your family? Maybe it was something your parents did in front of your friends. Maybe it was something your brother or sister said. Perhaps it was something your child did or said.

Do you think God has ever been embarrassed by something you said or did? After all, at your baptism, he put his name on you. The things you say and do reflect the God who adopted you into his family, and how you feel about him.

Here is an amazing truth: for all the things we have done that are shameful before God, Jesus isn’t ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters. It’s not because we haven’t done anything shameful or embarrassing. We have. But Jesus still isn’t ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters. Why?

For one thing, he really knows what it’s like to be us. He had human flesh and blood like us. He had a body and soul like us. He had to face the devil and his temptations each and every day like us. He lived in a sinful world among sinful people who sinned against him, who hurt him with their words and actions like us. But unlike us, who too easily give in to temptation and react to sin with sin, Jesus was perfect. He never did anything that would have made God the Father embarrassed or ashamed.

Jesus did all of that so that he could forgive and cover over all our shameful and embarrassing sins. As our substitute and sacrifice for sin, he makes us perfect, and even better, a part of his family. You and I can look at the special child born in Bethlehem and see our Savior as our brother. We’re family! We can know for sure that Jesus looks at us as his brothers and sisters whom he dearly loves and cares for, and there is nothing embarrassing about that!

Closing Prayer:

Dear God, I am sorry. I have done so many things that make me embarrassed and ashamed. But that is why in love you sent Jesus. Thank you for sending Jesus to forgive my sins and cover all my offenses with his perfection. Thank you for making Jesus my brother and bringing me into your family. 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

  • Count how many people are in your family. (After the count is in, say this: “Jesus he’s not ashamed to call you his brother or sister. Now how many are in your family?” Add 1 more for Jesus!)
  • Make up a little prayer thanking God for the people in your family and for Jesus, your brother.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • If all believers are considered Jesus’ brothers and sisters, say the names of as many people you can think of who are part of his family.
  • Think about the last time you felt embarrassed about something you did. Why isn’t Jesus embarrassed, and why does he still see you as part of his holy family?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • There will be times you feel that no one understands what you are going through. Take a few seconds to silently read again today’s verses from Hebrews. Say out loud two selections that will comfort you in those times.
  • What does it mean to you that Jesus calls us his brothers and sisters?

 

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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Set your face like flint – Family Devotion – December 29, 2021

Read: Isaiah 50:4-9

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.
Isaiah 50:7

Set your face like flint

 

Family Devotion – December 29, 2021

Devotion based on Isaiah 50:7

See series: Devotions

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

Do you know what flint is?

Flint is a very hard type of rock that breaks and chips into sharp-edged pieces. Long ago, people would use pieces of flint for arrowheads and knives.

In today’s Bible reading, we read that the Servant of the Lord (which is Jesus), “set his face like flint.” Setting your face like flint means you expect that something you are going to do will be hard. But you are determined to be harder. Whatever those difficulties may be, you are going to work through them and accomplish what you set out to do.

What was the job Jesus was setting his face like flint to do? God asked him to be the Savior who would die to forgive all the sins in the world. That would be hard. It would mean Jesus would have to live a perfect life. The job would also hurt him. Jesus suffered so much before he was crucified and then died. Jesus knew this before it happened. So, he set his face like flint. Even though it was going to be hard, he was determined to complete the work God had given him to do.

Why could only Jesus do this important work? Because just like the Israelites (the people Isaiah was a prophet to), we haven’t done a good job of listening to God’s words, obeying his commands, or trusting his promises. When we know what God has told us to do is going to be hard, instead of setting our face like flint and doing the hard work of obeying God, we complain how hard it’s going to be. Or we take the easy but sinful way out. You likely know the results, don’t you? We didn’t do what our parents said, we treated siblings or friends with anger instead of love, or we let the frustrations of life get the best of us as we interacted with our family. Like the Israelites, we need someone to rescue us.

So, Jesus set his face like flint in order to save us from our sins. He rolled up his sleeves and worked hard to do what was impossible for us—perfectly obeying our God. Jesus trusted that God would help him. Jesus set his face like flint, and because he did, you are forgiven! Your sins are paid for!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, you set your face like flint to do the hard work of saving me from my sin. Help me to set my face like flint when you ask me to do things that are hard in my life. 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

  • Can you “set your face like flint”? (Make a face like you have a hard chore to do, but you’re going to do it!)
  • What really hard thing did Jesus do for you?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Think of a time when you had to set your face like flint and do the hard work of obeying God.
  • We often feel bad or guilty about our sins. Why is it important in those moments to remember Jesus as our substitute?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why is it important that Jesus faced the same temptations that we do?
  • Recount the last time you took the easy way out of difficult situation. What happened? Now, set your face like flint. Plan out a difficult but right way to handle it.

 

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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Lost and Found – Family Devotion – December 27, 2021

Read: Luke 2:41-52

After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.
Luke 2:46,48,49,51

Lost and Found

 

Family Devotion – December 27, 2021

Devotion based on Luke 2:46,48,49,51

See series: Devotions

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

Tears swelled in Molly’s eyes. Her head spun around as her eyes darted here and there, frantically looking for her parents. Fear welled up in her heart. She didn’t see anyone she knew. She was lost.

Have you ever been lost? It is a scary thing to be lost. Parents, ever had that moment where you lost sight of a child? That is also frightening. It is why parents often tell their children, “Stay here! Stay close to me! Don’t wander off!”

Mary and Joseph experienced that feeling of having a lost child. As they left Jerusalem, they thought they knew where Jesus was. They thought he was traveling with their group of friends and relatives as they headed home. But they were wrong. They couldn’t find him. Mary and Joseph thought Jesus was lost!

They searched for three days. Finally, Mary and Joseph found him sitting in the temple courts, talking to the people who taught God’s Word and asking them questions. Jesus was at his church listening and growing in God’s Word!

Jesus was a special child, wasn’t he? He wasn’t just the son of Mary. He was the Son of God, the Savior God the Father had sent to rescue us. Jesus wasn’t being disobedient to Mary and Joseph when they couldn’t find him. Jesus was doing what his heavenly Father wanted, learning God’s Word and spending time in God’s house.

Sometimes you and I find it hard to do what our heavenly Father wants. He wants to us be closer to him. He wants us to learn more about what God’s Word says and to spend time in God’s house. But be honest, we aren’t always eager to go to church or Sunday School or a Bible class. We may not be too enthusiastic to take time to read a Bible story or talk to God in prayer. Maybe you’re not even happy about how long this devotion is taking!

That’s what makes Jesus so special. He came to take your place. You and I sin, we don’t always do what our heavenly Father wants. So, Jesus was perfectly obedient to God the Father in our place. You and I aren’t perfectly obedient to our parents. So, Jesus perfectly obeyed Mary and Joseph in our place. Jesus’ perfection covers over your imperfections. Because of Jesus, you are forgiven!

Jesus was a special child. He is our special Savior. Because he took our place, you and I will never be lost or separated from our heavenly Father!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for coming to earth and taking my place. Thank you for being obedient to God the Father in my place and forgiving my sin. Help me to follow in my Savior’s footsteps by being obedient to you and those over me. 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

  • Have you ever gotten lost? Describe what happened and how it made you feel.
  • Jesus loved to be at church. Give one reason why you love your church.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • How did Jesus show love and respect for God’s Word and his parents in this lesson?
  • Name as many people as you can who taught you about God’s Word.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Jesus asked his teachers questions. What’s one question you’d like to ask your pastor?
  • List three ideas to include God’s Word into your daily life.

 

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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This Child is God – Family Devotion – December 24, 2021

Read: John 1:1-18

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

This Child is God

 

Family Devotion – December 24, 2021

Devotion based on John 1:14

See series: Devotions

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

MERRY CHRISTMAS! It’s hard to believe but it’s true: God came to live with us! Can you imagine what it must be like to live with God? It’s hard to think of because, as the Bible says, “No one has ever seen God” (1 John 4:12). The Bible does tell us some things about God. He knows everything. He knows how many hairs are on your head without counting them, and he knows how many years are in your life before you even live them. He can do anything. He created butterflies and the Grand Canyon and grapefruits and friendship. He’s holy. He never gets anything wrong, never says the wrong thing, and never makes a mistake. Most importantly, God is love. He isn’t too busy for anyone, and he’s always making sure other people have what they need.

Does that sound like someone you would like to live with? What would it be like to live with an ultra-powerful super-genius who’s never wrong and is the nicest person who’s ever lived? That is what heaven is like. God could make your favorite dessert the size of a house, but he would only do it if it were good for you. And he would know if it were good for you. And if you were sad about his answer, he could invent something even better than what you wanted in the first place. Living with God would be amazing!

But wait… any person who isn’t perfect cannot live with God, who is perfect. In the Bible, whenever sinful people get close to the perfect God, they always fall on their faces and start crying because God is just too good for them. We can’t go to God because we just aren’t good enough.

So God came up with a brilliant solution. He came to live with us. God, who has existed forever, was born on Christmas. People who met Jesus got to know how great it was to live with God. He created their favorite foods for them. He healed their diseases. He brought dead people back to life. And then the God who created every living thing was crucified and died. He did it because God is love.

But now do you want to hear the best part? God still lives with us! The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit placed their names on the doors of our hearts and promised to always be with us. Someday, God will invite us to go to heaven and live with him forever.

So MERRY CHRISTMAS! God’s promise to come live with us has come true!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for coming to live with us on earth. Thank you for opening up a way for us to live with you in heaven. Live in our hearts and homes this Christmas. We love and adore you for being true God. 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 makes Jesus the most special baby ever?
  • Even though you haven’t seen God, name something you see that tells you God exists.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name an attribute or characteristic of God that is your favorite. Explain why you chose the one you did.
  • What part of living with God are you most excited about?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • God became a baby to live on earth. Discuss why that doesn’t make sense to human brains.
  • If someone asked, “What is God like?” you could start telling them stories about Jesus. Which stories would you tell first?

 

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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This Child is the Savior! – Family Devotion – December 22, 2021

Read: Luke 2:1-20

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:10-12

This Child is the Savior!

 

Family Devotion – December 22, 2021

Devotion based on Luke 2:10-12

See series: Devotions

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

Kaia’s mom was already at the hospital when she got there. Mom was having a baby, and Kaia was about to become a big sister. When she walked into the room, she saw the baby in an itty-bitty bed. She touched her sister’s tiny toes and her baby nose as cute as a button. When Kaia got to hold her new friend, she couldn’t stop smiling. Mom and dad were smiling too. Something about welcoming a new baby makes everyone very happy.

Baby Jesus made people happy too. He was the most special baby ever. It wasn’t just because Jesus was placed in a manger instead of a baby-bed. It wasn’t just because Jesus’ father was God. It wasn’t even because Jesus was a perfect baby, the only newborn in history who wasn’t a little sinner inside. We might expect the world’s most special baby to glow gloriously, but he didn’t. Jesus was born in a humble place and around people who were just like us.

What made Jesus special was his mission. The angel announced, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you.” Did you catch his mission? This baby was here to be the Savior. God sent Jesus to rescue his people from evil in us and all around us. That’s why Jesus needed to live a perfect life. He always listened to his parents to make up for the times when the rest of us disrespect our parents. He always listened to God’s word to make up for when we get bored of hearing from the Bible. Jesus’ mission started the night he was born on Christmas Eve and his mother, Mary, and his stepfather Joseph smiled at him. Happy shepherds came to see him. A while later, the wise men brought him gifts to celebrate the new baby.

Jesus is still making people smile. Are you smiling? Because of Jesus, all your wrongs were made right. He will wipe every tear from your eye, and you will never be sad again. Because of Jesus, you are going to heaven. When you get to heaven, you’ll actually will get to see and smile at him just and Mary and Joseph did that first Christmas! That’s what’s so special about the baby Jesus—this child is your Savior!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for coming to our world on a mission to save us. Help me appreciate how much you love me so that I can be joyful this Christmas. 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

  • In your own words, tell the story of what happened the night of Jesus’ birth.
  • Name two things that make you happy because Jesus is born.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What does it mean that Jesus is your Savior?
  • Pretend you’re one of the shepherds who heard the angel’s announcement from today’s devotion. What things might the shepherds have talked about on their way to visit Jesus? What about on their return home?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Do you think people in 2021 are more excited about Christmas or less excited compared to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds? Explain your answer.
  • How would you help someone else appreciate the importance of Christmas and a Savior born for 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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What Child is This? He Does Big Things for Little People – Family Devotion – December 20, 2021

Read: Luke 1:39-55

And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
Luke 1:46-49

What Child is This? He Does Big Things for Little People

 

Family Devotion – December 20, 2021

Devotion based on Luke 1:46-49

See series: Devotions

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

Of all the people who have ever lived in the history of the world, Jesus has appeared in the most paintings and sculptures. Do you know who is the second most painted and sculpted person? It’s the Virgin Mary. Why is Mary so famous? Because she is the mother of Jesus.

Jesus could have been born to a royal queen in a palace. God could have given baby Jesus to a rich woman with a fancy life or a genius with super brainpower. But God chose that Jesus’ mom would be a young small-town girl. Mary was probably a young woman when Jesus was born. She was not rich or famous. People call her “humble” because she didn’t have much to be proud of. But now, Mary is recognized worldwide—not because she was the prettiest or the smartest or the fastest. She’s famous because of what God did for her.

God often chooses small humble things to do his big important work. Jesus was born to a humble woman, and he lived in a small, modest country. Jesus loved to be with little children and even with adults who didn’t have anything to be proud of.

That is very good news for you and me! Have you ever felt like you are too small to make a big difference? You are precisely the kind of person God loves to work through. He knows your name and will never forget it.

Do you ever think you aren’t very good at things? Jesus considers it extra special when people hear about God’s love from humble folks who make mistakes. That way, the world sees that Jesus is the most powerful and we are his humble servants.

Do you ever feel like you are a low-down sinner who doesn’t deserve God’s love? You are precisely the kind of person Jesus came to save. If you were perfect, then you wouldn’t need a Savior.

God loved humble Mary, and he loves humble people like us. Jesus is coming this Christmas because God loves little people who mess up and need a Savior. And just like Mary, we will praise God because he lifts up the humble!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for your undeserved love to little people like us. You have done great things for us! 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 God do for Mary that made her famous?
  • What are some great things God has done for you?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • How did Mary respond to God’s blessings?
  • Discuss two “humble” ways your family can respond to all of God’s blessings this Christmas.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why did God choose Mary to be the mother of Jesus? (Come up with some incorrect answers and then say the actual reason.)
  • Agree/Disagree: God loves humble people more than he loves great people.

 

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 the Lord’s Kind of Person Because He Is Near – Family Devotion – December 17, 2021

Read: Luke 3:7-18

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.
Luke 3:7-9,18

Be the Lord’s Kind of Person Because He Is Near

 

Family Devotion – December 17, 2021

Devotion based on Luke 3:7-9,18

See series: Devotions

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

“You’re my kind of guy,” said the hunter, as he followed his friend up into his brand new hunting hideout. “That’s my kind of girl,” said the soccer coach, as she watched her star player helping out her new teammates. “You’re my kind of teacher,” said the computer-lover to the woman who taught him how to write the code for a video game. When we meet someone who likes the same things that we like, then we say, “That’s my kind of person!”

So… what is God’s kind of person like?

Two thousand years ago, Jesus came to earth as a human being. He met people, talked to them, and liked to spend time with them. The people who were on earth back then wanted to be God’s kind of person. Some people thought, “I live in the same country as Jesus, so I’m his kind of person.” Others thought, “I have the same extended family as Jesus, so I’m his kind of person.” Lots of people thought, “I live a good life. I don’t murder people or steal things. I only tell a few small lies, but not very often, so I’m God’s kind of person.”

John the Baptist told all of them that they were wrong. John was getting people ready to meet Jesus. If they wanted to be Jesus’ kind of person, then they need to hate what Jesus hates and love what Jesus loves. Jesus hates sin, and Jesus loves God. The Bible has a particular word for hating sin and loving God; it’s called “repentance.” Jesus spent time with people from many countries. He ate with people who did not live good lives. He came to earth to be with sinful people, and his favorite sinners felt sad when they sinned and loved to hear about God’s love. They were repentant, and they were Jesus’ kind of people.

Jesus is returning to earth soon. He will come down from heaven and take his people to be with him forever. Because we are going to meet Jesus someday, we want to be Jesus’ kind of people. You don’t have to be from a particular country. You don’t have to be from the right family. You don’t need to be a person who always does what is right. Jesus’ kind of people know about repentance. When we do wrong things, we are sorry for our sins; we hate that we do it. When we hear how God forgives us, we trust him, love him, and try as hard as we can to live how he wants us to live.

When Jesus comes back, he is going to see you and all other believers. He will remember how he deleted all your sins when he died on the cross. He will see how you felt sad about the times you sinned. He will see how you loved to hear that God forgives you. And do you know what he’ll say? He’ll say, “You are my kind of person!”

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for taking away all my sins. Help me to run away from sin and run to 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 Jesus hates?
  • What can you say to Jesus when you do something wrong?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Describe what Jesus’ kind of person is like.
  • Why can you say that you are Jesus’ kind of person?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why did John the Baptist want his listeners to repent as soon as possible?
  • If a person was looking at you from the outside, how could they tell that you hate sin and love Jesus?

 

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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We Can Be Gentle Because the Lord is Near – Family Devotion – December 15, 2021

Read: Philippians 4:4-7

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:5-7

We Can Be Gentle Because the Lord is Near

 

Family Devotion – December 15, 2021

Devotion based on Philippians 4:5-7

See series: Devotions

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

David shot out of his chair like a rocket and dove to the ground. A spear whizzed just inches over his head and stuck in the wall behind him. When he poked his head up, David saw King Saul making the angriest face he’d ever seen. The king hated David, and he was trying to kill him.

That night, after David blew out the candle, the king’s soldiers surrounded David’s house. If he tried to leave, they would capture him and kill him.

How would you feel if someone threw a spear at you? What would you think if bad guys surrounded your house? David was very afraid, at least at first. Maybe David wanted to fight his enemies, at least for a little while. But that’s not what he did. He didn’t panic, and he didn’t hurt them. Even when he had the chance to get revenge, David was gentle. You can read all about it in 1 Samuel, chapters 19-22.

David was gentle, even when his enemies tried to kill him because he knew a secret. Here’s what David thought when he was trapped inside his house: “You, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” (Psalm 59:17) As David sat inside his home surrounded by enemies, he didn’t need a big fortress wall. He was sitting right next to God, and God was his fortress.

There are still bad guys in the world. Some people try to hurt others, and sometimes bullies pick on those smaller than them. Sometimes we get ourselves into trouble. All the danger around us can make us anxious like there’s a big storm splashing around in our hearts. Maybe we even want to fight somebody.

But you know the secret to being gentle. The Lord is near! David didn’t need to worry, and he didn’t need to fight because he knew God was right next to him, and God took care of him. God is right next to you too, and he promises to take care of you.

Jesus came as a baby in the manger in order to erase all your sins by dying on the cross. You don’t need to be scared of your sins. Every day Jesus is sitting right next to you, and he promises to take care of you no matter what happens. When Jesus comes again, he will bring a whole army of angels, and they will take out every bad guy once and for all. God handles our sin. God handles our enemies. We can be gentle because the Lord is near.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for taking care of me all my life. Remind me that you are near me so that I can be gentle 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

  • What happened that made David afraid?
  • What made David feel safe from his enemies?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • There are many occasions when we don’t need to fight back. Give an example of how to be “gentle” when someone tries to hurt you.
  • Why is it easier to be gentle when we know God is taking care of us?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Make a list of the top three things are making you feel anxious at the moment.
  • For each thing that makes you anxious, come up with a short prayer that helps you to align with how God wants you to feel.

 

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 Turns Back Our Enemies – Family Devotion – December 13, 2021

Read: Zephaniah 3:14-17

Sing, Daughter Zion;
shout aloud, Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
Daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
Zephaniah 3:14-15

Jesus Turns Back Our Enemies

 

Family Devotion – December 13, 2021

Devotion based on Zephaniah 3:14-15

See series: Devotions

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

In 1970 the professional basketball teams of the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers faced off in a seven-game series for the NBA championship. Things started well for the Knicks. They won the first two games, but then the Lakers started taking over.

After six games, the teams were tied. The Knicks had won three games, but the Lakers were playing better and better, and they won three games too. Whoever won game number seven would be the champion, and it didn’t look good for the Knicks.

The worst news was that the Knicks’ star player, Willis Reed, was injured. Willis was six feet ten inches tall. He was the Most Valuable Player in the NBA, and he was famous for jumping up and sweeping the ball out of the air when his opponent tried to score. But Willis Reed had torn a muscle in his leg, and the Knicks fans were nervous that they would lose the championship if he couldn’t play.

The day of the game arrived. The teams were warming up. Suddenly, the TV announcer said, “I think we see Willis coming out!” He was wearing his jersey and shorts. The whole crowd stood up and cheered before the game had even started. Why were they celebrating? Because Willis Reed was coming out to play! He did play, and the Knicks won the championship.

Today we have a reason to stand up and cheer. We can rejoice and sing because our hero is coming! Jesus is coming at Christmas.

Jesus is not famous for sweeping basketballs out of the sky. He’s famous for taking our sins and throwing them into the depths of the sea, where nobody can ever find them. Jesus is famous for facing off against the devil and crushing him so that we are safe. Jesus is famous for dying on the cross and rising from the dead so that we don’t need to be afraid of death—we’ll rise just like he did.

Jesus is much more powerful than any basketball player, and here’s the best news: He’s on your team! You don’t need to make up for your sins; Jesus did that. You don’t need to defeat the devil; Jesus did that. Jesus has turned back our enemies, and now he stays with us. Never again do we need to fear any harm. That’s why at Christmas time, when Jesus comes, we rejoice and sing.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for coming to defeat our enemies. Fill our hearts with joy as we wait for 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

  • Who is our “hero” who arrives at Christmas?
  • Why do we want Jesus to be on our “team”?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name two enemies that Jesus has “turned back” so they can’t harm you.
  • God’s Word today encourages us to “sing… and be glad with all your heart.” Name your favorite song you like to sing to Jesus with all your heart.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Agree/Disagree: Because Jesus turns back our enemies, nothing terrible will happen to Christians. Explain your answer.
  • List at least three ways you can show your joy (in your life or at home) for what Jesus has done for 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 Great Construction Project – Family Devotion – December 10, 2021

Read: Luke 3:1-6

[John] went into the whole region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Just as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: A voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord! Make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be made low. The crooked will become straight, and the rough ways smooth. And everyone will see the salvation of God.”
Luke 3:3-6 (EHV)

God’s Great Construction Project

 

Family Devotion – December 10, 2021

Devotion based on Luke 3:3-6

See series: Devotions

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

“Are you kidding me?” Dad vented in frustration. While the family tried to make the two-hour trip to Grandma’s house, this was the third time orange barrels and flashing signs told them to slow down. Why? Road construction.

You see, the old road had taken a beating over the years. Thousands of cars traveled over it every day. Extreme changes from heat in the summer to cold in the winter put stress on the asphalt, leaving the road bumpy and difficult to drive on. The road needed to be replaced, so traffic slowed as the construction crew and their heavy machinery tore up the old road and replaced it with a new layer of smooth asphalt that would last for years to come.

Did you know that God is in the road construction business too? Centuries before the birth of Jesus, a prophet named Isaiah promised the coming of someone who would prepare the way of the Lord. He would call people to repent or turn from their sins and live because the long-promised King was coming to save them from their sins. He was to fill in the valleys and level the mountains of sin and guilt in their hearts. He was to straighten out the crooked road and smooth the bumpy places of their sinful hearts. That man would come 700 years later—a man we know as John the Baptizer.

John came to prepare the way for Jesus. Sin and guilt had wrecked the hearts of the people. Deep valleys and enormous mountains of guilt formed and stood between them and God. Sin turned their hearts down wrong, crooked paths away from God. So God sent John to call the people to repent, to turn away from their sins and live. He baptized them so they would receive the forgiveness that only the Savior-King could give to them. He prepared the way of the Lord because Jesus was coming.

John calls us to repent too. We need God’s help to fill in our valleys and level our mountains. He knows how to make our crooked roads straight and smooth out the rough ways of sin. Through his Word and through the waters of Baptism, the Lord carries out his great construction project through our hearts as Jesus comes to us to heal and help us, to forgive and save us.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, carry out your great construction project within our hearts. Help us to repent of our sins and be patient as you prepare us for your coming in these weeks before Christmas. 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 name of the man God sent to prepare the way for Jesus?
  • What does the word repent mean?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • How did John prepare the way for the coming of Jesus?
  • Why did John have to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why is repentance so important to changing a sinful heart?
  • Identify a valley or mountain in your heart that you would like God’s help to fill in or remove.

 

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 Fruit Harvest – Family Devotion – December 8, 2021

Read: Philippians 1:3-11

And I pray that your love may still increase more and more in knowledge and every insight. This will result in your approval of the things that really matter, so that you will be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11 (EHV)

God’s Fruit Harvest

 

Family Devotion – December 8, 2021

Devotion based on Philippians 1:9-11

See series: Devotions

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

Where does fruit come from? The store? Well, fruit has to get to the store somehow. Before we can buy them at the store, fruits first must grow on trees or bushes. Farmers have to tend the trees and bushes all year long. Yet before those fruits are ready for you to buy and eat, they require a lot of work. When the fruit blossoms come out or when the blossoms start to transform, grow, and change into fruits, the farmer has to mind the weather. Heat or cold can seriously damage the crop. So can all kinds of bugs. Fruit trees need fertilizer to grow in a healthy way. Finally at the harvest, someone has to pick and prepare the fruit. Whew, that’s a lot of work before you can enjoy sweet, juicy fruit at home!

Did you know that like a farmer, the Lord looks for fruit too? God looks for fruit from us! Rather than apples or oranges or berries, the Lord looks for holy hearts and healthy lives, for humble attitudes, for peace with others, and love that focuses on the needs of other people rather than on our own. Whew, that’s sounds like a lot of work! How can we be filled with the holy, humble, peaceful, loving fruits that God wants to find?

Before you see fruit in your life, God has to do a lot of work. You see, on our own, we would only grow rotten fruit. We’re proud and selfish. We hurt others with our words or actions. We argue and push to get our way or to get what we want rather than consider what others need.

Yet God does something very important for us. He plants us in the Word of God. He cuts away all that sin and feeds us with the good news that Jesus came to be our Savior. Jesus gives us peace with God, which then blossoms into peace with other people. Jesus fertilizes us with his love, which then grows into love for the other people in our lives. Jesus protects us from everything that could damage our faith and its fruits. When God finds those fruits of faith growing in our lives, he rejoices, because other people get to enjoy them too. With God’s help, may every day of your life be filled with fruits of faith!

Closing Prayer:

Lord God, fill our lives with sweet fruits of faith—righteousness, peace, humility, and love. Help us to share those fruits of faith with the people in 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

  • What is your favorite kind of fruit?
  • What kind of fruit is God’s favorite?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What does it mean to be filled with the fruit of righteousness?
  • Identify three “fruits of faith” God can produce in your life.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why does God have to be the source of our fruits of faith?
  • Why is living a life “filled with the fruit of righteousness” important for sharing Jesus with other people in your life?

 

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 Laundry Day – Family Devotion – December 6, 2021

Read: Malachi 3:1-7b

But who can endure the day when he comes? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire, like launderers bleach! …He will purify the sons of Levi… They will belong to the LORD and bring him an offering in righteousness.
Malachi 3:2,3 (EHV)

God’s Laundry Day

 

Family Devotion – December 6, 2021

Devotion based on Malachi 3:2-3

See series: Devotions

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

Karleigh and Claire let out a big sigh. It was that time of week again—laundry day. They had to gather up all the laundry around the house, separate it into piles, and start the first load in the washer. They did not enjoy this job, especially when the laundry was smelly or really dirty, but they knew the job had to get done. Everyone in the house needed clean clothes. No one wanted to wear rumpled, stained, dirty, smelly outfits. Claire placed the first load in the washer, measured out the laundry soap, and poured it into the washer. Karleigh set the right temperature for the water, closed the lid, and pushed start. Soon everyone would have clean clothes again.

About 400 years before the birth of Jesus, a prophet named Malachi talked about God’s “laundry day” or more exactly, the Last Day when God would come to judge all people. His description seems a little scary. Yet in preparation for that day, the Lord promises to purify and cleanse his people of their dirty, smelly, disgusting sins. Like someone trying to break up a grass or food stain, the Lord will scrub at the dirty stains of their sins until they are clean. Like getting rid of a tough, ground-in stain, the Lord will work hard at cleansing us of our toughest, deepest sins.

In fact, cleansing us of our sins would take something that usually causes stains—blood. Normally, blood leaves a big stain that can ruin clothing, but not the blood of Jesus. “The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7b) Instead of staining, the blood of Jesus actually removes the stain of sin and makes us clean. We need the blood of Jesus to make us clean if we are going to be pure and holy in God’s sight. We can’t do it on our own. But the blood of Jesus works better than the best laundry soap!

Because Jesus makes us clean, we don’t have to be afraid of God’s laundry day. We can even look forward to it, because he has forgiven our sins and will bring us home to be with him in heaven.

Closing Prayer:

Lord God, you alone can make us holy. Lead us to see our dirty, smelly sins for what they really are and cleanse our hearts with your blood. Help us to look forward to your laundry 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 makes us dirty and smelly in God’s eyes?
  • What does God use to make us clean?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • How does the blood of Jesus cleanse us of our sins?
  • TRUE or FALSE: The blood of Jesus cleanses us of most of our stains (of sin). (Hint: Reread 1 John 1:7b)

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • God expects us to be 100% holy. Why is being 99.999% holy not good enough?
  • Recount something cringeworthy from your past—the thought of it still embarrasses you! Apply today’s devotion to that memory. How does Jesus change how you feel?

 

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 King Comes to You – Family Devotion – December 3, 2021

Read: Luke 19:28-40

As he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began to praise God joyfully, with a loud voice, for all the miracles they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Luke 19:37-38 (EHV)

The King Comes to You

 

Family Devotion – December 3, 2021

Devotion based on Luke 19:37-38

See series: Devotions

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

You come home from school one day, and your house has turned into a beehive of activity. A special guest is coming to your house. Your family just found out about it this morning. Yet there’s something unusual about the activity. It’s not just Mom or Dad or your brother or sister cleaning. There are other people getting everything ready. They are not your neighbors. Some even look official, securing the area and making sure everything looks just right. Some are professionals—chefs, decorators, and others—making sure no detail is overlooked.

So who is coming to visit? Whoever it is, they must be important to require this much preparation. Maybe the governor or the president or some other important person is coming to visit your family. Now they aren’t coming to stay at your house or to have you live with them. Presidents and governors, kings and queens simply don’t do that. Yet today we hear about a King who not only comes to visit us, he comes to live with us.

Jesus was with his disciples just outside of the city of Jerusalem. It was a busy time when people from all over the world traveled there to celebrate a festival called the Passover. Large crowds followed Jesus everywhere. When the time came for him to enter Jerusalem, he didn’t enter the city with all kinds of pomp and glory. Instead, Jesus rode on the back of a donkey with coats for a saddle. People cut down palm branches and waved them in the air. They laid their coats on the ground for him and they sang ancient songs. Yet Jesus was not planning to make himself king. Instead, he was making his way to a cross where he would suffer and die for us.

You see, Jesus is a King like no other king who has ever lived. Jesus is not so glorious or so powerful or so important that he does not care about us or have no time for us. Every day he comes to give us the good news that we are so precious and priceless to him, he bought us with his blood. He comes to die for us to take away our sins and to rise again to give us life with him forever. Imagine that! The King of kings comes to be with you now—and he’s not leaving. Jesus wants you to live with him forever. How amazing!

Closing Prayer:

Dear King Jesus, sometimes we forget that you are unlike anyone else in the whole wide world. You love us and care for us more than anyone else, even our own families. Help us to serve and follow you. Be with us every day of 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

  • Name one person you would want to make a surprise visit to your house.
  • In a couple weeks, whom will we welcome as a special guest into our home?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Name at least two things that make Jesus different from any other king.
  • True or False: Jesus entered Jerusalem for me. Explain why.

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Someone special is arriving in a couple weeks. As a family, discuss ways you can prepare your home for his coming.
  • Jesus is coming not to visit but to live with you. Describe how that ought to change your thinking and living.

 

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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Love Overflows – Family Devotion – December 1, 2021

Read: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

And may the Lord increase your love and make it overflow for each other and for all people, just as ours does for you, so that he may establish your hearts as blameless in holiness before our God and Father, when our Lord Jesus comes with all his saints.
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 (EHV)

Love Overflows

 

Family Devotion – December 1, 2021

Devotion based on 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

See series: Devotions

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

“Mom, we have a problem!!” Orange, bubbly hot sauce poured out of the bottle, overflowing everywhere. The kitchen counter was turning into a growing lake of orange sauce, while bright orange waterfalls descended to the kitchen floor below. The spicy smell of cayenne and horseradish filled the room. Just a minute before, Jesse saw the bottle of hot sauce on the counter. He thought it would be funny to shake the bottle. He thought it was cool that all kinds of bubbles formed inside the bottle. What Jesse didn’t expect was the sauce to rush bubbling out of the bottle when he opened it… and to keep flowing. Now he had a big mess to clean up.

When something overflows, it usually leaves a big mess. Open a can of Coke that has just dropped on the floor, and you’re left with a sticky mess. Plug a toilet and you’re left with a watery, unpleasant mess. Try to fill a small cup from a full jug of milk without holding on to the cup, and you could end up pouring milk all over the table and floor. We usually want to avoid making things overflow.

Yet in today’s Bible reading, Paul prays that we would overflow… with love! Sounds messy, doesn’t it?! Why would he pray for that? What Paul is praying for is that we would overflow with a love that puts other people and their needs first. It’s the kind of love that is willing to care for someone no matter the cost. It’s the love that Jesus shows us.

Why would he pray that we overflow with that kind of love? The problem is we often overflow with other kinds of attitudes—selfish thinking, hurtful behaviors, unloving hearts, “me first” attitudes—and that leaves a big mess. Angry words. Hurt feelings. Broken friendships. Ruined relationships.

So how can we overflow with love? It starts with Jesus. Jesus came into our world not because we overflowed with love, but because he did. Jesus set aside all his glory and power in heaven to become a human being like us. He gave up his life for a world full of people who failed to love. Jesus overflowed with so much love, it healed all our hurts and saved all our souls. His love overflows over you. Now you can overflow from inside with your Savior’s love for the people in your life and the people in your world to see!

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, help us bottle up any kind of selfish, sinful attitudes in us. Because you love us still, help us to overflow with your self-sacrificing love every day of 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

  • How would you describe Jesus’ love for you?
  • What is one way you can share Jesus’ love with your family and friends?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What does it mean to overflow with love?
  • Why would we want to share the love of Jesus with the people in our lives?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • What does a life overflowing with Christ’s love look like?
  • How will a life overflowing with Christ’s love look different to the people around us?

 

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 Dead Come Back to Life – Family Devotion – November 29, 2021

Read: Jeremiah 33:14-16

In those days and at that time, I will cause a righteous Branch to grow up from David’s line. He will establish justice and righteousness on earth. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely.
Jeremiah 33:15-16a (EHV)

The Dead Come Back to Life

 

Family Devotion – November 29, 2021

Devotion based on Jeremiah 33:15-16a

See series: Devotions

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

In northern California, you can visit some of the largest trees on the face of the earth. Giant sequoias tower over 300 feet above the forest floor! A single branch from one of these trees measures 150 feet long. Their trunks can measure over 20 feet around. These ancient trees are huge!

When a giant sequoia gets sick and dies, it needs to be cut down. What’s left behind is a massive stump—dead and decaying. Yet if your family were to drive through a sequoia forest, you would see something very surprising. You would find a giant stump with all kinds of “stump sprouts” growing out of it, basically little sequoia trees growing up from the dead stump. In a sense, the dead tree comes back to life.

God used a similar picture to describe his Old Testament people hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus. Like a giant sequoia, Israel had once been a mighty nation ruled by King David, a faithful follower of the Lord. Yet the nation became spiritually sick as many of the kings who followed David trusted in other gods. Eventually, like a dead tree, their kingdom was destroyed. They no longer had a king. Many were sent far away from home.

The people felt sad and hopeless, but the Lord made a promise. A righteous Branch would grow up from David’s line. Like a “stump sprout,” a King would come from David’s family to give life to God’s people. He will save them from their sins, so they could live with him forever. That King would be our Savior Jesus.

Sometimes we feel sad and hopeless. A friend moves away, or we move away. A family member or friend passes away. Maybe we see our parents, brother, or sister feeling sad or worried. It makes us afraid. We wonder if things will ever get better. In that moment, our hope feels dead like a stump.

But do you remember God’s promise? If he can cause living trees to grow up from dead stumps, Jesus can bring us back to life when we feel hopeless. Jesus came into our world to forgive our sins. He came to wipe away our tears. He came to comfort us when we feel sad and protect us when we feel scared. Jesus came to give us hope in him—not an “I hope so” hope, but an “I know so” hope. Jesus came to bring us back to life.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, you are the righteous Branch. Thank you for coming into our world to give us life and restore our hope. Help us to trust in you and your promises always. 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

  • How would you describe a tree stump? (Answer: dead) What does a stump sprout indicate? (Answer: life)
  • Why is it important that Jesus is like a stump sprout?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • How was the kingdom of Israel like a dead stump?
  • What is the difference between an “I hope so” hope and an “I know so” hope?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Why is God’s promise to bring life from a dead stump so important for us?
  • Discuss what makes you afraid of dying. Why should the season of Advent make you less afraid?

 

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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I Can’t Wait! – Family Devotion – November 26, 2021

Read: Revelation 1:4b-8

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

“Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 1:5-8

I Can’t Wait!

 

Family Devotion – November 26, 2021

Devotion based on Revelation 1:5-8

See series: Devotions

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

“I can’t wait! I can’t wait!” Gwen found herself saying that almost every day. She had a countdown calendar on her bedroom wall that reminded her about the big day. Now it was only 100 days until her golden birthday. Gwen was about to turn 10 on April 10. “I can’t wait! I can’t wait!”

Gwen didn’t realize it, but the days were starting to pass by quickly. She got busy with school and volleyball and playing with her friends. Before she knew it, the big day had finally arrived! Her tenth birthday! She was so excited to celebrate! “This is going to be the best party ever!” she thought.

The party was great and the whole day was fun. But . . . the next day was nothing special. It was just another ordinary day. Her birthday came, and now it was gone. Gwen was disappointed because she didn’t have something to look forward to anymore.

Birthdays and other celebrations can be a lot of fun. They are great days to look forward to. But we as Christians have something even better that is coming. That will be the great day when the Lord Jesus returns once and for all.

The apostle John once had a little preview of what that day would be like, and he wrote down what he saw in the book of Revelation. The words for the devotion today are truly wonderful. They remind us that Jesus has loved us and shed his blood for us. When he saved us, Jesus also made us to be his people who are a part of his kingdom, now and forever.

And yes, one day soon Jesus will come back in glory and every eye will see him. His enemies who rejected him will mourn and be sad. But that’s not true for us. We will see Jesus and rejoice. On that day we know that all the sickness, suffering, and sadness of this world will be over. We will only have joy and happiness—not just for a day like a birthday or holiday—forever and ever. All that will be ours when Jesus comes back on that great day. I can’t wait! I can’t wait!

Closing Prayer:

Jesus, thank you for paying for all our sins and making us to be your people. Give us patience as we wait for the glorious day of your return. 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

  • How did Jesus make us to be his people forever and ever?
  • Why will we be happy when Jesus returns?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What do you find challenging about waiting for Jesus to return on judgment day?
  • How can we learn to be more patient for Jesus’ return?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • These verses from Revelation are like a little preview of what judgment day will be like. Discuss why you think God gives us these little sneak peeks.
  • On the Last Day, everything in this world will be gone. All that will matter is our relationship with Jesus. Discuss how that thought should affect the way we live our lives 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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The Best Day Ever! – Family Devotion – November 24, 2021

Read: Daniel 7:13-14

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
Daniel 7:13-14

The Best Day Ever!

 

Family Devotion – November 24, 2021

Devotion based on Daniel 7:13-14

See series: Devotions

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

What will that day be like? Can you even imagine? What will it be like to look up into the sky and see Jesus “coming with the clouds of heaven” on the Last Day? What will it be like to see Jesus with all of his glory and all of his mighty angels? What will it be like to finally see our Savior and King face to face?

The prophet Daniel had a vision more than 2,500 years ago. In this vision he saw a little sneak peek, kind of like a movie preview, of what that Last Day will be like. What a sight he saw! He saw Jesus coming on the clouds. He saw Jesus with all his glory and power. Daniel also saw all nations and people bowing down and worshiping him.

How awesome will that be? Not only will we see Jesus our King, but we will join with other believers from America to Africa to Asia to Australia, and everywhere in between, to worship our Savior. It will be the greatest choir, the greatest praise, and the greatest worship ever!

What Daniel saw in his vision is not some made up story. This is what will really happen someday soon. Jesus himself came to this world once to live and die for us. He gave his life so that we could be forgiven all our sins and live with him one day in heaven. Jesus also promised that he would come back for us, just like Daniel saw in his vision.

Because God has always kept his promises, we can trust this promise, too. Jesus will come back. You will see his power and glory. You will see your Savior face to face. You will join with all believers to worship and praise him forever. And best of all, the joy of that day will never end. Daniel says, “His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

Judgment day will be the best day ever when Jesus returns to reign as King with us forever and ever. Oh what a day! I can’t wait!

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus, we praise you for being our great and glorious King. Come quickly so that we can live with you forever! 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 prophet Daniel see in his vision?
  • What happened in that vision?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What will happen on judgment day?
  • What things will be different for us when Jesus comes back on judgment day?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Discuss as a family three people you know who still don’t know Jesus as their Savior. What can you do to help them be ready for Jesus’ return?
  • Compare and contrast worshiping Jesus on Sunday morning to worshiping Jesus when he returns. What will be the same? What will be different?

 

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 King? A King! – Family Devotion – November 22, 2021

Read: John 18:33-37

Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
John 18:33-37

A King? A King!

 

Family Devotion – November 22, 2021

Devotion based on John 18:33-37

See series: Devotions

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

Take a moment to think about a powerful and mighty king. If you had to describe such a king, what would he be like? What would he wear? What would he say? What would he do? How would people treat him? (Perhaps your family could even pause this devotion to discuss what you are thinking about.)

Maybe you are picturing a king wearing fancy clothes, a royal robe, and a crown. Maybe you also picture him sitting on a throne or a riding a great big horse. Maybe you are thinking about a king giving commands, or winning battles, or people bowing down humbly before him.

What about the picture of a king from today’s Word of God? He’s riding on a donkey. He’s arrested and betrayed. People are spitting on him and hitting him. He’s wearing a crown of thorns and a fake robe. He’s bleeding all over, and he’s hardly speaking a word.

That doesn’t sound very powerful or mighty. That doesn’t look very triumphant or royal. In fact, it doesn’t seem much like a king at all. And yet, those words describe the greatest King of all—Jesus Christ.

As we see Jesus before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate in these verses from John 18, Jesus does not look like the kind of king this world would expect. That’s why Pilate was so confused. But Jesus explained to him, “My kingdom is from another place.” You see, Jesus’ kingdom is a spiritual and heavenly kingdom.

Just think, Jesus loves us so much that he set aside his power as true God to suffer and die for us and for our sins. But when he did so, he showed just how powerful he is. He paid for our sin. He crushed the devil. He conquered death and rose again. Jesus is in fact the most powerful, mighty King of all!

One day soon, Jesus will come back again. But on that Last Day, Jesus will show all his power and glory as King of kings and Lord of lords. And best of all, he will take you to be in his kingdom forever! What a mighty and loving King we have!

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, King of kings, we praise you for your great power in defeating death and the devil. We look forward to the day when you will return in all 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

  • Why do we call Jesus our King?
  • Think of one way Jesus is better than any king in this world.

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why was Pilate so confused when Jesus said he was King?
  • What are ways that we can show honor to Jesus as our King?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • For Jesus our King, first came the cross and then came the glory. Explain how our life in this world will be just like our King’s.
  • Why can it be considered a good thing that God allows us to suffer in this world before we have the glory of heaven? What value does suffering have for us as Christians?

 

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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Encourage Each Other – Family Devotion – November 19, 2021

Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Encourage Each Other

 

Family Devotion – November 19, 2021

Devotion based on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

See series: Devotions

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

What a sad day! Everyone was crying when they heard the news—Kase had finally died. Kase was a young boy in preschool who had brain cancer. Many hoped and prayed that he would be cured of his cancer. But finally the day came when Kase’s body couldn’t take it anymore. Kase passed away. Students were sad. Teachers were sad. Parents were sad. How awful to lose this wonderful young boy in their lives!

Many of the parents of Kase’s classmates were extra sad. It was heartbreaking that their children had lost a friend. It hurt them to think about how sad it would be if their own child died. But then, one of Kase’s classmates helped change everyone’s thinking. A young boy named Cruz saw his parents crying and said, “Dad . . . Mom, why are you so sad? Kase is in heaven!” For Cruz the whole situation was very simple. Kase was now in heaven, and that is a reason to rejoice!

The Bible verses for day remind us why we can have an attitude like Cruz when fellow believers pass away. Sure, we will be sad. It always hurts to lose someone we are close to because we love them so much. But the apostle Paul says this, “You do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” To grieve means to be really sad about something. Paul reminds us that we aren’t really sad about death like unbelievers who have no hope of ever seeing loved ones again. Yes, we have tears of sadness, but we also have tears of joy. Why? Because we have hope through Jesus Christ!

Paul goes on to explain that hope, “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” What amazing comfort! Because Jesus died and rose again to life, we can know with absolute certainly that “those who fall asleep in him”—those who die in faith—will rise to life with Jesus in heaven. It’s just like Jesus himself said, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).

Those who knew Kase were so sad when he died. But they also cried tears of joy knowing of hope through Jesus. Because of our Savior, the family and friends of Kase will see him again in heaven. The same is true for all believers who die in faith. Jesus died and rose again to life, and so will we. Death is not the end, it’s only the start as we go on to live with Jesus and all believers forever in heaven. And so, Christian friends, do what the apostle Paul says and, “encourage each other with these words.”

Closing Prayer:

Jesus, Lord of life and death, thank you for giving us hope. We know that because you died and rose again, all believers will also rise to life with you when they die. Comfort us in times of sadness and death with this good news. 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 causes people to be sad when someone dies?
  • What causes believers to be happy when a believer dies?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What does the word hope mean?
  • What is the hope that Christians have?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Explain this statement: Jesus rising from the dead is the single most important fact of all time.
  • Discuss how the hope that Christians have is different than the kind of hope other people talk about (for example, “I hope my team wins,” or, “I hope it doesn’t rain.”).

 

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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Rise and Shine! – Family Devotion – November 17, 2021

Read: Daniel 12:1-3

At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
Daniel 12:1-3

Rise and Shine!

 

Family Devotion – November 17, 2021

Devotion based on Daniel 12:1-3

See series: Devotions

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

The bedroom door creaked open. Footsteps pitter-pattered across the floor. Then came a soft and gentle voice, “Rise and shine!” It didn’t matter how nicely Noelle’s mom spoke those words every morning—Noelle didn’t like it one bit. “Ugh! No! Not yet!” she complained. “Rise and shine!” her mother said again. This time Noelle pulled the sheets up over her head and groaned, “Nooo! I don’t want to wake up!”

Noelle was not being very helpful or responsible. She needed to get up and get ready for school. Thankfully, her mother was very kind and loving. She stayed there and kept encouraging her to “rise and shine” until she finally did.

How about in your house? Are there some people who struggle to “rise and shine” and get out of bed? Would you rather be asleep or awake?

Even though many people love to sleep in, there is a day coming soon when all people will have to rise. That day is called judgment day. Daniel 12:2 says, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” This verse is telling us that when Jesus comes back in glory, all those who have died will have their bodies rise from the grave. Some will awake to everlasting life in heaven, some will go to everlasting death in hell.

There are many days when our sins make us much like Noelle. When we sin, we act like we don’t want to rise and shine in the light of God’s love. Sin leads us to be spiritually sleepy as Satan tries to lead us to fall asleep forever in unbelief. Satan wants us to spend eternity away from God and in hell.

Thanks be to God that Jesus has taken away all those sins! And thanks be to God that our mighty Savior Jesus also gives us the strength to remain strong in our faith. Jesus will help us to be awake, on the watch, and ready for his return on the Last Day. What a day that will be! Not only will Jesus raise us from the dead, but we will shine in the brightness of his love and glory. Daniel 12:3 says this about believers, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

Stay connected to Jesus in his Word, in worship, and in prayer. That will help you to be ready for the wonderful day when Jesus comes back and says to you, “Rise and shine forever!”

Closing Prayer:

Jesus, thank you for saving me from sin and then sending your Spirit to give me faith in you. Help me remain strong in the faith until the day you return and raise me to life with you forever. 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 will Jesus do on the Last Day when he returns?
  • What are the two places that all people will go to forever on the Last Day?

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • Why does Satan work so hard to tempt us and lead us into sin?
  • How can we know for sure that Jesus has more power than Satan?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • Agree/Disagree: Judgment day is a day to be afraid of. Explain your answer.
  • What are you looking forward to the most on judgment day?

 

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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