Daily Devotions

Compassion – October 16, 2021

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 9:35,36

Compassion


Daily Devotion – October 16, 2021

Devotion based on Matthew 9:35,36

See series: Devotions

Compassion. There often isn’t much of it in our dog-eat-dog world. Survival of the fittest. Win at all costs. Look out only for yourself. Climb the corporate ladder no matter who you have to step on. Show compassion? Ha! That’s for the weak.

But our Bible reading for today tells us that Jesus had compassion on people when he lived in this compassionless world. He healed the sick and injured. Most compassionately of all, he preached and taught the good news of free forgiveness and eternal life to souls burdened by guilt and sin.

You are on the receiving end of God’s compassion. In compassion, God sent his Son in the flesh to save you from the guilt and punishment of your sins. In compassion, God brought you into his family through his Holy Spirit who brought you to faith. In compassion, God daily protects you with his angels and provides for all your needs. In compassion, God hears all your prayers and is preparing a room for you in heaven. In compassion, God is working out everything that happens to you (even the bad and sad) for your eternal good.

God has shown you compassion. With an appreciative heart, go and show others compassion with your words and actions. You can’t heal the sick as Jesus did. But you can help ease someone’s pain. Above all, you can tell a burdened soul about a compassionate and forgiving God.

Prayer:
God, thank you for treating me daily with compassion. Help me to share your compassionate love with others. May they see your compassion and love through me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Not Ashamed – October 15, 2021

Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
Hebrews 2:11

Not Ashamed


Daily Devotion – October 15, 2021

Devotion based on Hebrews 2:11

See series: Devotions

Real Men Love Jesus. The slogan appears on t-shirts, hoodies, coffee cups, and drink coasters. But why sell such items? Who would purchase them?

It’s a bit of a reaction to an unfortunate trend. Christians are often pressured to feel ashamed of Jesus and to hide their faith in Jesus. The Real Men Love Jesus slogan is a marketing strategy designed to reverse that trend. It’s time for Christians to let their light shine, not hide it. Don’t be ashamed of Jesus!

But have you ever wondered, “Could Jesus be ashamed of us?” After all, we are part of a human race that seems so self-absorbed. There’s so much chaos and disharmony in our communities. News outlets run stories about riots, wars, assaults, and trafficking. Could Jesus love a world like this?

On a more personal note, I have a good deal of chaos and disharmony in my own heart. I’m supposed to love Jesus above all else. In reality, I’ve set my heart on so many other things. I’m supposed to trust Jesus. Instead, I stress myself out with worry or try to take matters into my own hands. I’m supposed to honor Jesus by the things I think, say, and do. Oh, how I’ve failed! Could Jesus love a person like me?

He could. In fact, he does! John 3:16 reminds us that God loved the world so much, he sent Jesus to be our Savior. Jesus didn’t walk away from our self-absorbed humanity but willingly came running to our rescue. He took all the selfishness, sin, dishonor, and chaos of our hearts and communities—he took it all to the cross. And there on the cross, he suffered and died and made a perfect payment.

The result? The sins of the world have been paid for by Jesus! On a more personal note, the sins of my past have been taken away. The times I’ve dishonored or distrusted my God—those have been forgiven. Jesus, my Savior, has washed me clean.

What a way to start or end your day, knowing that Jesus loves you, has paid for all your sins, and isn’t ashamed to call you his brother or sister!

Prayer:
Savior, Jesus, since you have loved me so dearly, help me never to be ashamed of you. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Never Alone – October 14, 2021

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”
Genesis 2:18

Never Alone


Daily Devotion – October 14, 2021

Devotion based on Genesis 2:18

See series: Devotions

According to Google, there are over eight million different species in the animal kingdom. Another article in an online animal journal identified ten of the most solitary creatures in the world. Out of all those eight million animal species, only ten prefer to be alone. The vast majority of animals prefer to be in packs, herds, and families. If that’s true for the animal kingdom, it is surely true for the vast majority of the seven billion human beings living on this planet.

While some alone time can be valuable, most of us thrive with the company of others. It’s not good for us to be alone. We function better when we have relationships with other people. We enjoy sharing experiences and creating memories with others. We benefit when friends or family members offer up listening ears, helping hands, and empathetic hearts. We feel a sense of purpose when we lend our ears, hands, and hearts to those around us.

Of course, all of us are different. We are unique individuals with unique personalities. Because of that, some of us might prefer just a few friends while others crave a much larger network. Yet, all of us thrive when we have some level of companionship.

Our Creator God knows what we need, and in his generosity, he supplies it. In marriage, God provides for that deep human need in a unique and special way. Husbands and wives transition from the households of their youth and join together into their own personal family units. For those who aren’t married, God still provides specials bonds with siblings and friends and deep, life-long relationships with parents and children. Because we live in a sinful world, there will be times when spouses, friends, and family members depart. Even then, our God does not abandon us. It is not good for us to be alone. So our Lord assures us, “You’re never alone! I am with you always.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, my dearest Friend, thank you for the people you have put into my life. Help me to see my family members and my friends as precious gifts from you. Fill me with your love so that I may be a faithful friend to others, as you have been to me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Complementary Companion – October 13, 2021

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Genesis 2:18

Complementary Companion


Daily Devotion – October 13, 2021

Devotion based on Genesis 2:18

See series: Devotions

After God created the world, he had Adam give names to all the creatures God had made. It would have been obvious to Adam that every creature had a companion—Mr. Lion had Mrs. Lion, Mr. Giraffe had Mrs. Giraffe, and so forth. It was God’s intention to supply Adam with a companion too. His creating activity wasn’t quite complete.

To a certain degree, Adam could have found some level of companionship within the animal kingdom. But God wanted to give him an even better gift, so he created Eve. Eve shared Adam’s humanity. Eve was a friend. Adam now had someone “suitable” for him. He had someone similar to him and equal to him, but uniquely different. He had someone to share in his joys and help carry his sorrows; someone to grow old with; someone to talk to. Not only did Eve provide Adam with companionship and vice-versa, but they also formed a compatible, harmonious team. Jesus said, “God created them male and female” (Mark 10:6). God very consciously and carefully created two distinct genders so they could team up together and complement each other.

Even in a world where some try to erase the differences between genders the Bible shows a loving Creator who knows how to give good gifts, special gifts, varied gifts. In a marriage, what one spouse lacks physically, emotionally, or psychologically the other can provide. Where one might be weak, the other can be strong. Husbands and wives are teammates and partners, but that doesn’t mean they will always have the same jobs, opinions, or ideas. Instead, they bring into the relationship different strengths, different abilities, and different backgrounds. They are better together than they are apart.

Husbands and wives, take a moment to consider how unique and even how different your spouse may be from you. Rejoice in those differences. Thank God for the complementary companion he has given you.

Prayer:
Gracious Lord, ever since the beginning of the world you have showered your people with good gifts. Thank you for the many different and unique people you have put into my life. Help me to shower them with kindness and affection. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Relationship Instructions – October 12, 2021

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:21

Relationship Instructions


Daily Devotion – October 12, 2021

Devotion based on Ephesians 5:21

See series: Devotions

According to one internet survey, the BILLY/OXBERG bookcase and the PAX wardrobe are the two pieces of IKEA furniture that are the most complicated to assemble. Customers complained that the directions were too complex. Numerous reviewers fussed about having leftover pieces and the assembly process taking five hours or more.

Some things you can take out of the box and build without even looking at the instructions. Not the BILLY/OXBERG bookcase or the PAX wardrobe. You want to follow the instructions.

The same is true when people enter into friendships. There are some basic instructions you want to follow for the friendship to be successful. Be kind to one another. Treat each other with respect. Be honest. Those are valuable instructions when it comes to all human interactions and relationships.

Honesty, kindness, and respect are particularly valuable in marriages. God doesn’t give spouses a 400-page document of dos and don’ts, but he does give a very basic directive: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

The natural tendency for human beings is to look out for self, to serve self. In other words, ME FIRST! God reminds us that a different mindset is what makes marriages and relationships work. Not me first but my spouse first. When spouses submit to one another, they are saying, “I want your needs to be met before mine. I want your happiness and your goals to come before mine.” Submitting to one another looks less like a tug-of-war contest and more like a gift-giving contest (if such a thing existed).

And if we’re looking for a role model, we need look no further than Jesus. And, if we’re looking for a boost to help us do less taking and more giving, we need look no further than Jesus. The patience, love, and forgiveness he shares with us are all the motivation we need. The way he put our needs ahead of his own and the way he sacrificed his life to save ours is the boost we need to keep sharply focused on a Christ-like mindset—not me first, but others first.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, your deep love for me enables me to love others. Whether I am single or married, young or old, help me to think, to love, and to act more and more like you. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Learning to Love – October 11, 2021

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Ephesians 5:25

Learning to Love


Daily Devotion – October 11, 2021

Devotion based on Ephesians 5:25

See series: Devotions

Years ago, a Christian woman in her mid-60s said to me, “Now that my husband is retired, he is home all the time, and it’s really putting a strain on our marriage.” I knew what she meant. She wasn’t saying she didn’t like being with her husband or that her marriage was falling apart. But instead, over the years, when they each had full-time jobs, they would see each other only in the evenings. A pattern had developed. They had learned how to be loving and patient with each other for the few hours they were together each evening. But now, that pattern had been disrupted. They had to intentionally work at being loving to one another—not just in the evenings, but in the mornings and afternoons as well.

With more and more people working from home, husbands and wives are spending much more time together than before. As a result, couples of all ages are coping with new patterns. And that can be challenging to relationships.

Here are a couple of things to consider: If it’s a little bit more difficult for us to be surrounded by family members more often than we were accustomed to, understand it’s probably just as difficult and straining for them too. Additionally, just because it might be a strain doesn’t mean it’s a negative thing. It means we have a new pattern that may need some adjustment. Spending extra time together means we will need to be extra intentional with our love and patience. We will want to work extra hard to take words and actions in the kindest possible way.

And if you want a little extra motivation, look to Jesus, who loved the church and gave himself up for her. When we see of how patient Jesus is with us, we are moved to be more patient with others. When we see how often and how freely Jesus forgives us; that helps us to forgive one another. When we see how Jesus makes sacrifices for us and serves us, that makes us want to serve too—not just in the evenings, but in the mornings and afternoons as well.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, help me to love and serve others as you have loved and served me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Not Fair – October 10, 2021

“Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?”
Matthew 20:15

Not Fair


Daily Devotion – October 10, 2021

Devotion based on Matthew 20:15

See series: Devotions

“That’s not fair!” How often don’t we feel or say that something isn’t fair? God has blessed me with children. If one daughter didn’t receive what her sister got, you can guess what I heard: “Dad, that’s not fair!”

In the Bible, Jesus tells the story about a landowner who hired workers throughout the day to work in his fields. At day’s end, he gave them all the same pay, regardless of how long they worked. When those who worked the longest saw that their paycheck matched that of those who worked less time, they cried out, “That’s not fair!” The landowner reminded his unhappy workers that he had the right to do what he wanted with his money. They were not to be jealous of his generosity.

At one time, you and I were without purpose or hope because of sin’s curse. But God, the gracious landowner, called us to faith and service in his vineyard, his kingdom of grace. Perhaps you have served him for a long time now. One day you will receive your paycheck in full: the gift of eternal life in heaven. There will be many there who will receive the same paycheck of God’s grace, even if they didn’t serve as long and hard. Yet may we not cry out, “That’s not fair!” Rather, let’s rejoice in God’s generosity for us! And while there still is time, let’s get out into those fields and labor to bring the message of a generous heavenly Father to those who are without purpose or hope.

Prayer:
Lord, in your generosity you have called me to serve you with my very life. Help me be faithful and truly thankful for your goodness. Through me bring your generosity in Jesus to others. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Perfect Rest – October 9, 2021

[Jesus said] “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

Perfect Rest


Daily Devotion – October 9, 2021

Devotion based on Matthew 11:28

See series: Devotions

Hurricanes, wars, droughts, broken families, illness…These and many other things in life cause us to be worried, afraid, uncertain, and perhaps leaving us feeling weary and burdened. No one escapes these problems or these feelings, no matter how hard they try. Most of our solutions to those problems are either unsuccessful or temporary.

Thankfully, Jesus provided a solution to the problem which causes all of our other problems. We had become disconnected from God because we had chosen to do things our way instead of his way. The Bible calls this sin, of which we are all guilty. But Jesus, God’s Son, came into this world to solve the problem of our sin. He did this by living life God’s way—perfectly, and by paying the price for our sins with his death on the cross. His rising from the dead on Easter morning shows us that we are God’s children. This promise also includes the promise that one day God will raise us to take us to be with him in heaven where there will be no sin and none of the other problems that cause us to be weary and burdened.

As long as we live in this world, problems will continue to exist, but Jesus has solved our worst problem. This gives us rest from our burdens and peace in the midst of a life full of weariness. It gives us the sure hope that one day, in heaven, all trouble will be gone. Jesus is our Savior who gives us rest today and will give us perfect rest in heaven.

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for providing us with a solution from all of life’s worries and burdens. Especially for the solution to the problem, which brought all this into the world, our sin. Jesus I am facing trials in my life, I bring them to you. Thank you for carrying them for me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Be Salty – October 8, 2021

[Jesus said] “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Mark 9:50

Be Salty


Daily Devotion – October 8, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 9:50

See series: Devotions

Salt is an extremely useful substance. Today, we mainly use salt to season our food. But in the years before refrigeration, people also used salt to preserve food. Salt draws water out of food, preventing the growth of bacteria that can spoil food.

It’s hard to imagine salt losing its chemical properties. But if that were possible, it would make what normally is a very useful substance into a useless one. If salt no longer can season your food, and if it loses its ability to prevent food from spoiling, what good is it? You may as well just throw it away!

Jesus once said to his followers, “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). His message was that those who believe in him help preserve the world from “spoiling.” Our world is filled with sinners, all of whom by nature care only for themselves. Sinners on their own are willing to do all sorts of things, including things that harm others, if they think that in the end it will benefit them. Those who trust in Jesus provide a preservative against that. Because of their faith in Jesus, they are eager to serve God by serving those who are around them.

But what if believers, the salt of the earth, no longer live their faith? What if they start living just like everyone else instead of serving God by serving those who are around them? Then they’re not good for much, are they? They’re just like salt that has lost its saltiness.

That’s why Jesus encourages us, “Have salt among yourselves.” Jesus wants all who trust in him to be “salty” people. And when we trust in Jesus as our Savior, that is exactly what we are. We are the salt that God uses to preserve this world. The faith that God has worked in our hearts leads us to love Jesus, who sacrificed himself to pay for all our sins. And that love for Jesus overflows into our love for others, which leads us to serve them and be at peace with each other.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, keep me always close to you that I may be salt in this world. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Be Willing to Sacrifice – October 7, 2021

[Jesus said] “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.”
Mark 9:43

Be Willing to Sacrifice


Daily Devotion – October 7, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 9:43

See series: Devotions

What would you be willing to do in order to avoid sin?

Let’s say that your hand has a mind of its own. It keeps grabbing merchandise that you haven’t paid for and carries it out of the store. It regularly balls itself into a fist and punches people in the face for no reason whatsoever. It even expresses itself to others using obscene gestures. Would you be willing to chop off your hand if that meant your hand would no longer be able to lead you into sin?

What about if your eye kept looking at pornography on the internet? Would you be willing to gouge out your eye so that it would no longer be able to lead you into sin?

These are the kinds of situations that Jesus confronts us with in our Bible passage for today. And he tells us that even though it would definitely be hard to live without a hand or an eye, that is far better than spending eternity in hell.

Of course, Jesus isn’t advocating that we actually maim ourselves to avoid sin. He is, however, graphically portraying the lengths to which he wants us to be willing to go to avoid sin. Avoiding sin is not always going to be a painless endeavor. Sometimes, avoiding sin means that we must give up things that we enjoy. Sometimes, it requires us to do things that we might not otherwise want to do. Sometimes, avoiding sin can be painful. It requires sacrifice.

Jesus, however, assures us that the sacrifice is worth it. And he promises to give us the strength we need to make the sacrifices necessary to avoid sin. He already has sacrificed himself to remove from us the guilt of all our sins. He will not now abandon us as we strive to live our lives for him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you sacrificed yourself for me. Strengthen me that I may be willing to sacrifice everything to follow you. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Let God Promote You – October 6, 2021

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:10

Let God Promote You


Daily Devotion – October 6, 2021

Devotion based on James 4:10

See series: Devotions

With the birth of social media came the birth of a new occupation, that of the social media influencer. Social media influencers are people who have thousands, even millions of followers on social media who use their wide audiences to promote products. Companies will pay these influencers large sums of money to mention their products in their social media posts. And these influencers put a lot of effort into promoting not only these products but also themselves. After all, you can’t become a social media influencer with millions of followers if you don’t work hard at promoting yourself in every way you can.

Self-promotion is essential if you want to be a social media influencer. It is the opposite of what you want to do, however, in your relationship with God. In fact, as the apostle James tells us today, the best way to be “promoted” in our relationship with God is to completely “demote” ourselves before him.

James tells us, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” Yes, if we want to be “promoted” before God, the first thing we need to do is humble ourselves. This means recognizing before God that on our own we have absolutely nothing to offer him. It means confessing before God our utter sinfulness from the moment of our conception. It means laying out before him the guilt we have accumulated for ourselves through all our sinful thoughts, words, and actions. It means throwing ourselves on his mercy, knowing that apart from his mercy we are doomed to be punished forever for our sins.

When we humble ourselves like that before God, he lifts us up. He assures us that for Jesus’ sake he has forgiven us all our sins. Through faith in Jesus, he adopts us into his family as his dearly loved sons and daughters. He makes us heirs of eternal life with him in heaven. He elevates us from the depths of sorrow to the heights of joy.

Self-promotion will never get you anywhere with God. Rather humble yourself and let God in his grace promote you.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I praise you that in your grace you have lifted me up. Help me always to find my reason for rejoicing in you. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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God Welcomes All Who Come to Him – October 5, 2021

Come near to God and he will come near to you.
James 4:8

God Welcomes All Who Come to Him


Daily Devotion – October 5, 2021

Devotion based on James 4:8

See series: Devotions

Jesus once told a story about a young man who demanded his inheritance while his father was still alive. The young man then went to a distant land where he squandered all his money. Eventually, he had to take a job feeding pigs and was so hungry that he wished he could eat the food he was feeding to the pigs. Finally, the young man decided to go back home. He knew that he had deeply hurt his father. But he hoped that his father would receive him back, if not as a son, then as a servant.

When the young man came within sight of his hometown, his father, who had been waiting and watching for him, saw him. In his joy, the father ran to his son, embraced him, kissed him, and welcomed him home.

This story beautifully illustrates what the apostle James teaches us in today’s Bible passage. “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” All of us have been like the son in Jesus’ story. In our stubborn sinfulness, we have run away from God and done our own thing—all to our own detriment. Eventually, our rebellion against God landed us in a hole so deep that we could never get ourselves out of it. Then, God graciously led us to realize how foolish we were to run away from him. He worked in us sorrow over our sins and a desire to return to him. He drew us to himself and moved us to ask for his forgiveness.

Then just like the father in the story, before we could draw ourselves to God, God already was running to welcome us. Because of what Jesus did in sacrificing himself on the cross to pay for all our sins, God forgave us, embraced us, and received us as his dearly loved children, whom he never stopped looking out for. What a blessing to know we have a God who receives us and celebrates our return—almost as if we had never left.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, when I stray from you, draw me back to you and hold me close, so that I never stray from you again. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Stand up to the Bully – October 4, 2021

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7

Stand up to the Bully


Daily Devotion – October 4, 2021

Devotion based on James 4:7

See series: Devotions

Brandon dreaded going to school. Jake was at school, and Jake was a bully. Jake sought Brandon out, intimidated him, insulted him, and pushed him around. Everything Jake did made Brandon feel weak and powerless.

One day, Brandon finally had had enough. As Jake was coming after him, Brandon stood up as tall as he could, looked Jake straight in the eyes, and said, “Enough! I’m not going to let you bully me anymore! You can’t have any power over me that I don’t let you have. So, from now on, this bullying stops!”

Jake was stunned. No one had ever stood up to him like that before. He stopped in his tracks, looked around, and saw that his power over Brandon—and everyone else—was gone. So, he ducked his head, turned around, and walked away.

Sometimes, the only way to stop a bully is to stand up to him.

It’s hard to think of a bigger bully than the devil. Like any other bully, the devil loves to use intimidation, insults, and accusations to exercise his power over us. And his power is considerable. In fact, no mere human being has the power to stand up to him on their own.

One person, however, does have the power to stand up to the devil on his own. That person is Jesus. Throughout his life, Jesus resisted and overcame the devil in every confrontation he had with him. Even when it seemed as if the devil was about to defeat Jesus as Jesus was hanging on the cross, Jesus emerged as the victor. By his death and resurrection, Jesus decisively defeated the devil and destroyed his power.

All those who trust in Jesus as their Savior share in Jesus’ victory over the devil. His power to stand up to the devil now is their power as they trust in him. When the devil tries to bully us with his accusations and intimidation, we can, with Jesus’ power, stand up to him and stop him. For, when we with Jesus resist the devil, the devil will flee from us.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, by your power enable me to resist the devil so that he will flee from me, even as he must always flee from you. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Do Not Be a Turtle – October 3, 2021

[Jesus said] “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”
Matthew 18:15

Do Not Be a Turtle


Daily Devotion – October 3, 2021

Devotion based on Matthew 18:15

See series: Devotions

The other morning I was walking my dog. We came across a large snapping turtle. Even though it could have inflicted much pain on my dog, this snapping turtle wanted nothing to do with my pet. It withdrew its limbs and head into its shell. When we had continued our walk down the road a ways, the turtle finally came out from its shell.

When we see someone struggling with a sin, our first reaction might be to play turtle and withdraw into a shell. It is so much easier to look the other way. After all, we are to live and let live, right? Wrong! Sin affects a person’s relationship with God. It separates the sinner from God. If never repented of, sin can lead to hell forever.

When people are caught in a sin, we are to go to them in humility and love. We are to gently show them their sin and lead them to confess it. But then we are to share the good news! “Jesus died for you. His death has paid for all of your sins. You are forgiven.” As people believe our message, we will have won them over. The angels in heaven will sing for joy!

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for taking all my sins away by your Son’s death on the cross. When others are caught in sin’s sticky web, give me the courage and love so I can be your tool to lead them back to you. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Bad Week – October 2, 2021

Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Isaiah 35:4,5

A Bad Week


Daily Devotion – October 2, 2021

Devotion based on Isaiah 35:4,5

See series: Devotions

Have you ever had one of those weeks when everything in life just seems to go wrong? Monday morning starts with a flat tire, and you are late for work. On Wednesday, you find out that the company you work for is preparing to downsize. Then your 7-year-old wakes you up in the middle of the night with the flu. The week is just the pits.

God’s people were having a very bad week. Their lives were imperiled by a powerful army that threatened their city. The situation seemed hopeless. But God sent a message to his people through the prophet Isaiah, “Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.’” God fulfilled his promised to come to the aid of his people. The angel of the Lord went out and put to death 185,000 of the enemy soldiers. The army was so decimated that the commander had no choice but to withdraw and return home. God saved his people.

Satan is a powerful enemy who threatened us with cruel captivity and dreadful death. We were powerless to help ourselves. But our almighty God came to be our Savior. He demonstrated his divine power by giving sight to the blind, healing the paralyzed, opening the ears of the deaf and freeing a stammering tongue. But the most important way that he used his power was to face our enemy for us. Oh, it was a bad week for him that ended in his death. But victory was declared when he rose from the dead! He saved us from our enemy!

As we go through life, we know that there are going to be bad weeks. But in Jesus, we have the good news of life and salvation. That helps us cope and gives us hope.

Prayer:
Jesus, I praise you for rescuing me from threat of Satan. Assure me every day that you are with me and that your power will help me overcome all the difficulties that I face. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Important Work – October 1, 2021

He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Mark 9:36,37

Important Work


Daily Devotion – October 1, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 9:36,37

See series: Devotions

Can you think of other times when Jesus used visual aids to make a lasting impression on his disciples? He had Thomas take a long look at the nail-marked hands and side, throwing in an invitation to touch those wounds as well. A shriveled-up fig tree attested to the power of faith in an unforgettable way. He used a coin with the emperor’s image, a coin plucked from a fish’s mouth, and a coin plunked into the temple’s money box as visual support for the words he was speaking.

Jesus wasn’t afraid to use a visual aid when he thought it would drive home his point. So what was his point in bringing the little child into the disciples’ line of vision? It was more than “be nice to kids.” (Important as that is!)

Jesus was trying to teach the disciples about the works that God considers great and honorable. And how those works are often quite the opposite of what we’d expect. The world around us makes sure to put its best foot forward when interacting with those viewed as most important, powerful, or influential.

But Jesus reminds us that our hearts are most like his heart when we’re interacting with those the rest of the world might overlook. The most important work is serving those who need us. That might be the little ones who look to us to put food on their table. It might be the lonely person at church who needs someone to talk to. It might be the aging parent who can’t do some things on their own anymore. That work may not win you any headlines or earn you any promotions. It might be inconvenient and messy. But it’s how God takes care of people in this world. And it’s humble service, first modeled for us by Jesus in his humble service to us. And that makes it really, really important.

Prayer:
Gracious God, help me to see the opportunities for your important work all around me. Give me the humility to embrace them and the strength to carry them to completion. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Path to Greatness -September 30, 2021

They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
Mark 9:33-35

The Path to Greatness


Daily Devotion – September 30, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 9:33-35

See series: Devotions

See if you can guess who said the following: “It’s my job. It’s what I do. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.” Or this? “I’m so mean I make medicine sick.” Or how about? “I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round.”

Those quotes are all from former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali. During his heyday, he was one of the most controversial and talented athletes on the face of the earth. He was as quick-witted as he was quick-fisted. He was a fantastic showman, and he wanted everyone to hear that he was the greatest.

In our Bible passage today, Jesus’ disciples are doing their best Muhammad Ali impersonations, arguing about which of them was the greatest as they traveled on the road.

Jesus took that opportunity to show his disciples the way to true greatness. “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last and the servant of all.” And he wasn’t just saying it. He was doing it! He was the master of the angel armies who willingly came here to serve us in our greatest need. On Good Friday, Jesus gave no thought to his own well-being. He laid down his life so that we might live. That’s the definition of a hero. That is the epitome of greatness.

Prayer:
You are the greatest Lord Jesus and most worthy of all my praise. Help me always to remember and treasure your becoming a servant for me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Lord Comes Down – September 29, 2021

[God said] “Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them. When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous—it became as white as snow. . . . So Moses cried out to the LORD, “Please, God, heal her!”
Numbers 12:8-10,13

The Lord Comes Down


Daily Devotion – September 29, 2021

Devotion based on Numbers 12:8-10,13

See series: Devotions

God was rightfully angry at Miriam. She had spoken against his chosen leader–Moses. He demonstrated his anger by allowing her to suffer a skin disease. He wanted her to realize how serious her sin was.

What’s remarkable is the way Moses reacted. He didn’t shake his head and say, “See, Miriam, see—this is what you get.” He couldn’t possibly have forgotten the verbal knives that were used to stab him in the back, the axes that were used to chop down his reputation and good name. His wounds were still as open and festering as Miriam’s. But when he saw his sister in pain and panicking, he wasted no time. “O God, please heal her.”

That is selfless ambition, Moses standing up for his sister, pleading for his sister, forgiving his sister not when he decided he was good and ready, but when she needed him.

And that reminds us of another time when the Lord came down—not in a pillar of cloud, but in barn rags in a manger in Bethlehem. There God came down once again, not in anger to reproach, but in love to save. God came down once again, not to accuse of sin and condemn of sin, but to take away the sin of the world. In his bitter dying, in his glorious rising, Jesus cried out, “O God, please heal them!” And so we hold this gem in our hands and hearts, and we marvel with wide-eyed wonder when the writer to the Hebrews says, “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).

Prayer:
I give you my endless praise, Lord Jesus, for coming to heal me. May my praise and thanksgiving be evident in all that I do. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Better Than We Deserve – September 28, 2021

“Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?”
Numbers 12:2

Better Than We Deserve


Daily Devotion – September 28, 2021

Devotion based on Numbers 12:2

See series: Devotions

It’s hard for us to see someone else have something that we want for ourselves, and we don’t always handle it very well. Maybe we try to convince ourselves and the people around us of how unworthy that person is to have what they’ve been given—like Aaron and Miriam undermining Moses’ position as leader because of his Cushite wife.

Have you ever heard things like, “She doesn’t deserve him.” “They don’t deserve that house.” “He doesn’t deserve that job.” Have you ever said them yourself? Of course, when we speak in those terms, what we’re trying to say is that “I do. I do deserve a spouse like that. A house like that. A job like that. God, just give me what I deserve!”

When we’re spending so much time dissecting and criticizing what others have received, we’re not giving our attention to what we’ve been given—to our vocations, responsibilities, callings. Young people, when we argue with our parents and dismiss their advice and complain about their rules, are we perhaps forgetting who made them the parent and who made us the children? Fellow employees, when we’re snarky and impudent about our bosses, are we perhaps forgetting how they got to be our bosses? When we stick it to our government leaders or our teachers or our pastors, are we forgetting that God has given them a job to do, and he’s given us a job to do as well?

The fact is none of us really deserves any of those callings in life. Our sinful self-centeredness means that all we really deserve is an angry God and a hellish future. Faced with that prospect, our prayer quickly changes to “God, please DON’T give me what I deserve.”

And in mercy, he doesn’t. Our gracious God gave to Jesus the punishment we deserve, and he gave us the love that Jesus deserves.

And he doesn’t stop there! In addition, he gives us all kinds of other things that we haven’t earned or deserved. Like the privilege of being called mommy or daddy, the opportunity to work so that our needs can be provided for, the honor of being a friend, citizen, church member, and volunteer.

Prayer:
Gracious Father, in love you do not give me what I deserve. Thank you. Continue to look in mercy upon me, give me contentment and joy in my calling as I seek to serve you and my neighbor. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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No Sibling Rivalry – September 27, 2021

Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?”
Numbers 12:1,2

No Sibling Rivalry


Daily Devotion – September 27, 2021

Devotion based on Numbers 12:1,2

See series: Devotions

Alexander and James Campbell were two brothers who had a lot in common. Both emigrated from their native Scotland to the United States in the 1850s. Both enlisted and fought in the Civil War. In fact, both played prominent roles in the First Battle of James Island in 1862. But right now if you’re picturing two inseparable siblings locking arms and boldly marching side by side into battle to face a common enemy, there’s one more detail I should probably mention. Alexander Campbell wore a blue coat in the Civil War, and James Campbell wore grey. They were shooting at each other at the First Battle of James Island, fighting on opposite sides of a bitter and bloody war.

While it’s true that ammunition isn’t usually involved, sibling rivalry is nothing new. And we see yet another example of sibling misbehavior in our Bible story today with Moses, Aaron, and Miriam—the first family of ancient Israel.

You can tell by their words that there was more going on than just a little dislike for their sister-in-law on the part of Aaron and Miriam. They were using their brother’s wife as a pretext to tear Moses down. And as is so often the case, when we tear others down, we’re hoping to build ourselves up. The jealousy of Aaron and Miriam wasn’t just a sibling problem. It was a human problem—a reflection of the depravity that we all share in our sinful hearts.

Realizing that depravity, that persistent pull that we feel to pull others down, makes us marvel all the more at the selfless love of Jesus. He’s the One who came from heaven not to pull us down but to raise us up to life eternal. He became our sibling in flesh and blood so that we could become his siblings in the family of the Father. There is no sibling rivalry here. Jesus exalts us as his blood—bought baptism-washed family. And because he does, we exalt him with thankful hearts.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, Brother from heaven. How blessed and grateful I am that you call me your family. Help me to live my life worthy of the calling that I have received. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Promise – September 26, 2021

But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Genesis 15:2-5

A Promise


Daily Devotion – September 26, 2021

Devotion based on Genesis 15:2-5

See series: Devotions

God told Abram that he had nothing to worry about in the foreign land in which he lived. God promised to be his shield from harm. God also reminded Abram that he would receive every good thing because the LORD was his “very great reward.”

There was one thing, though, that troubled Abram. He had no descendant and this is what he wanted very much. That’s because a son was the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abram that the Savior of the world would come from his family. But as Abram and his wife Sarai grew past child-bearing years, it seemed that the link between Abram and the Savior was lost. No Savior?! This is what Abram was afraid of.

So Abram decided to follow the custom of that time and adopt his servant, Eliezer. Through him, Abram thought, he could have descendants, and then the promise of God for a coming Savior would be fulfilled.

God helped his troubled believer overcome his fearful doubts. He told Abram, “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” Then God brought Abram outside on that clear night and showed him the starry hosts of the heavens. The multitude of stars—”So shall your offspring be,” God declared to Abram. As easily as God created all the stars, so he could give a son to an old man and his wife. The promise of the Savior would be fulfilled exactly as God determined.

Nothing was too hard for God to accomplish our salvation!

Prayer:
Thank you, Lord, for fulfilling your promise of sending Jesus to be the world’s Savior. Fill my heart with the joyful assurance that in Jesus I have the blessing of eternal life. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Humility – September 25, 2021

Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do not claim a place among great men.
Proverbs 25:6

Humility


Daily Devotion – September 25, 2021

Devotion based on Proverbs 25:6

See series: Devotions

Humility is a virtue that is often overlooked and seldom appreciated in our world. It’s the gifted athletes, musicians, actors, and entrepreneurs of the world that are admired. Seldom will you find a rich or famous person described as being humble. Humility, however, is a virtue that God loves.

To understand what it means to be humble, we need only look to Jesus. His entire life and ministry were lived with humility. When the Lord God came into this world, he was not born in a palace but in a lowly stable in Bethlehem. Jesus’ entire life was spent in the humble service of others. His life and work weren’t about “ME” as so many live today. Jesus dedicated his life to the humble and loving service of others.

Why else would the Lord have allowed himself to be hung on the cross like a criminal? How else can we explain his willingness to endure his Father’s wrath and the torments of hell? What other reason could there be for Jesus to lay down his life for lost mankind?

God doesn’t ask us to endure death by crucifixion or face the wrath of God, nor do we need to. Jesus took care of that. He has saved us from our sins and gained for us eternal life. What God wants of us, the ones who have experienced his mercy and love by faith in Jesus, is that we live our lives with humility. Let us live, not to make a name for ourselves, but live in the loving service of others. Live not for our glory but to the glory of God.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, bless me with a humble spirit that I may live my life in loving service to others. Let them see your love in me that they may learn to know Jesus as their Savior and give glory to your holy name. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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When You Walk in the Dark – September 24, 2021

Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.
Isaiah 50:10

When You Walk in the Dark


Daily Devotion – September 24, 2021

Devotion based on Isaiah 50:10

See series: Devotions

My elementary school was right across the street from my state’s boarding school for the blind and visually impaired. Occasionally the students from that school were mainstreamed into my school. I liked making friends with them. One of my blind friends taught me how to read braille.

Our teachers encouraged us to think about what it was like to be blind. They encouraged us to walk around in our homes at night without turning lights on. I still like to do that. Of course, I have seen my house in the light, so it’s not that difficult. But I still run into things. My wife is amused by my bruises.

Many people in this world are walking around in the dark. They think they know their way around the world, but they have not been enlightened about the true God or about Jesus Christ, whom God has sent. They run into things and cannot figure out why they are bruised.

Our teachers also encouraged us to learn how to be a guide for the blind. There’s a certain way to walk or run with blind people and guide them with your hand or arm. My blind friends learned to trust me as a guide. They pointed out that some of the other students thought it was funny to lead them astray.

The only way out of spiritual blindness is to have a guide. That guide is what God says in the Bible. His name is everything he tells us about himself in the Bible, and you can trust that name. God will never lead you astray. With eyes wide open, even in the dark, you can walk with him all the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when life seems dark, open my eyes to the light of your love. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Losing Your Life – September 23, 2021

Then [Jesus] called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.”
Mark 8:34,35

Losing Your Life


Daily Devotion – September 23, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 8:34,35

See series: Devotions

On July 17, 180 A.D., twelve inhabitants of Carthage, North Africa, were executed for being Christians. There were seven men and five women. Their names were Speratus, Nartzalus, Cintinus (Cittinus), Veturius, Felix, Aquilinus, Laetantius, Januaria, Generosa, Vestia, Donata, and Secunda. Speratus was their spokesman. He claimed for himself and his companions that they had lived quiet and moral lives—paying their taxes and doing no wrong to their neighbors. But when called upon to swear by the name of the emperor, he replied, “We do not recognize the empire of this world. We serve the God whom no one has seen.” The Christians were offered a delay of thirty days to reconsider their decision, which they all refused. They were put to death by the sword.

They were not the first Christian martyrs, nor the last. Even today, there are people around the world killed for following Jesus.

Many Christians are not killed for their faith. But you will find that there are always sacrifices to be made in following Jesus. You will encounter skepticism and ridicule for putting the needs of other people ahead of your own. You will have less money and time for yourself when you use them for other people. You may lose status or the opportunity for advancement when you live a quiet and moral life.

But trusting in Jesus for your eternal salvation and living a God-pleasing life for others to say thank you to him are worthwhile. When Jesus suffered hell on the cross for your salvation, he made your much smaller sufferings bearable. You can look forward to eternal life with him!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, give me strength to take up my cross daily and follow you. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Concerns of God – September 22, 2021

Jesus then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Mark 8:31-33

The Concerns of God


Daily Devotion – September 22, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 8:31-33

See series: Devotions

Admit it. You want things to look good, and you want to feel good. You want everyone to be happy, and you want things to turn out well. Those are just normal human concerns.

God has greater concerns. He wants everyone to come to a knowledge of the truth and be saved. He wants you to believe in Jesus so that you will not perish but have eternal life instead. He wants you to depend on him, and not on yourself.

Jesus shared the concerns of God the Father. That is why he did not care how he looked or felt. He knew that some people were not going to be happy about what he said or did. He taught his disciples that he would have to suffer and be rejected by the prominent people of his day and that he would be killed. He even mentioned that after three days, he would rise again.

The disciple Peter wanted things to look good. He wanted to feel good, and he certainly did not want Jesus killed. He wanted Jesus to share his human concerns.

Jesus recognized that those human concerns were a temptation from Satan. If Jesus did not suffer, Peter would not be saved. So Jesus rebuked Peter, pointing out that the devil was behind his human concerns.

Even if you do not always understand why Jesus is not acting according to your human concerns, you can trust that he knows what he is doing. He has in mind the concerns of God, and those are always in your best interest.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, relieve my human concerns by giving me insight to the concerns of God for my good. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Tell People About Him Now – September 21, 2021

Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
Mark 8:30

Tell People About Him Now


Daily Devotion – September 21, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 8:30

See series: Devotions

It might sound surprising, but Jesus often told his disciples not to tell anyone about him. Something dramatic would happen, proving that Jesus was the Son of God, and the disciples would be excited to talk about it. Jesus would advise them to be silent instead.

That’s because Jesus knew that the religious and political leaders of his day would hear about what he did, find him a threat, and conspire to put him to death. Jesus knew that had to happen at a certain time, and when it was too early, he did not want his disciples to precipitate those events.

At a certain point in his ministry, when he knew it was the right time, Jesus entered Jerusalem very publicly, encouraged people to talk about him, and ended up going to the cross. He gave his life—the innocent for the guilty—and won forgiveness for the whole world.

You can talk about that now. You can tell people about Jesus now. There may still be opposition, but Jesus’ work is complete, and there’s nothing the opposition can do about it.

So, at every opportunity, go ahead and tell people who Jesus really is. You don’t have to worry about Jesus’ warning not to tell anyone about him. That was then, and this is now.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for accomplishing your work in exactly the right way at exactly the right time. Give me opportunities to talk about what you have done for everyone. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Jesus Is Who He Says He Is – September 20, 2021

Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
Mark 8:27-29

Jesus Is Who He Says He Is


Daily Devotion – September 20, 2021

Devotion based on Mark 8:27-29

See series: Devotions

How can you tell that people are really who they say they are? Surely you have heard of people who claim to be good and helpful but turn out to be despicable. You’ve probably also heard of people who speak very quietly and humbly but turn out to be positive contributors to someone else’s life.

People had heard of Jesus. He asked his disciples what they were saying about him. Apparently, there were people who thought Jesus was a reincarnation of someone famous in Bible history. Others thought that he was at the level of other prophets whom God had sent to the people of Israel.

But that’s not who Jesus said he was. Jesus quietly said that he was the Savior promised for thousands of years. He said that he came to win forgiveness by his innocent suffering and death. He carefully explained that he was the ultimate prophet, the one who ends the need for more prophets. He used a term that said that and more; he called himself the Messiah.

Did his disciples think that he really was the Messiah? Peter said so. They had been with him long enough to see that he was not faking it. He was exactly who he said he was.

Who do you say Jesus is? He wants you to know that he really is who he said he was. He is the Messiah, the one who was promised, the one who earned forgiveness for you, the one who loves you. You can count on him, and you can say with confidence that he is your Savior.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, no matter what other people say about you, help me to trust you as my Savior. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Solid Rock – September 19, 2021

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Matthew 7:24-29

The Solid Rock


Daily Devotion – September 19, 2021

Devotion based on Matthew 7:24-29

See series: Devotions

The kind of followers Jesus wants are those in whom the Word lives and who live by the Word. They have their life focused on Christ, their attention on his words, confidence in his protection, hope in his promises, and joy in the relationship they have with their Savior. Absolutely nothing can destroy such a spiritual building of active and saving faith. Life problems can beat against that house of faith; persecution can pelt it mercilessly; death itself will rise up against it, but it will not fall because it is based solidly on the Rock—Jesus Christ.

Quite different is the result for the one who hears God’s Word but does not put what he hears into practice. He does not recognize his sinfulness and does not trust in Jesus as his Savior. He trusts another basis for salvation, one that puts confidence in his own ability and self-worth. In his case, Jesus says, “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” With such an imperfect footing, his life eventually comes crashing down. Without faith in Jesus, he is lost and condemned forever!

Jesus reveals himself in his Word to give us a firm foundation for our faith and absolute confidence for our salvation. Build your life on Jesus, the solid rock.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, open my heart to believe your Word and put it into practice in my life. Keep me safe from all onslaughts against my faith, and finally bring me home with you in heaven. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Blessings – September 18, 2021

Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
Psalm 103:1,2

Blessings


Daily Devotion – September 18, 2021

Devotion based on Psalm 103:1,2

See series: Devotions

“Daddy, what’s a benefit?” That’s a question one of my daughters asked me the other morning after she had recited to me these verses from Psalm 103. I answered, “A benefit is a blessing; it’s something good that we receive from God.”

The list of God’s blessings is endless. First, there are the “small” blessings in life: food, clothing, shelter, air to breath, a spouse’s love, a child’s laughter, friendship, good health. Praise the Lord for all these benefits!

Then there are the really “big” blessings that God gives us: forgiveness for our sins, angels who guard and protect us daily, the privilege of going directly to God in prayer, the sure hope of eternal life in heaven one day, confidence in the resurrection of the body at the end of time. Praise the Lord for all these blessings!

Are these blessings that we deserve? No. Have we earned them? No. Because of the sin we’ve inherited from our parents and the sins we daily commit, we deserve nothing but misery in this life and the one to come. But praise the Lord! Where our sin increased, God’s grace and blessings in Jesus increased all the more.

Praise the Lord! Praise him with your lips. Praise him with your life lived to his glory and honor.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, how great you are! You have showered upon me more benefits and blessings than I deserve. Help me say “thank you” to you by living my life in ways that bring you praise and worship. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Remember Who You Are in Christ – September 17, 2021

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
James 1:22-25

Remember Who You Are in Christ


Daily Devotion – September 17, 2021

Devotion based on James 1:22-25

See series: Devotions

In a moving scene in Disney’s The Lion King, the spirit of the departed Mufasa admonishes his son Simba with the words, “Remember who you are.” The young lion’s lifestyle choices revealed that he had forgotten who he was—the rightful king, and therefore he had forgotten his father as well.

The Bible closely connects Christian behavior with a conscious and deliberate recollection of who we are in Jesus Christ. We read in the Bible that all of us had been doomed to damnation because of our disobedience to God and his word. But through his perfect life and innocent death, Jesus set us free from the curse of the law. Connected to Christ through Baptism, we died to sin. Now we live for God as his dearly loved children and heirs of heaven. How could we return to the way of life that separated us from God in the first place?

Unfortunately, that is what happens when believers forget what the Bible reveals about who they are in Christ and what type of life that God has called them to live as Christ’s followers. All too easily, we slip into old sinful habits and self-destructive patterns. As Jesus told his disciples, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” The solution is to purposefully peer into God’s Word daily and prayerfully put into practice what we read there. In the blood of Jesus, you have been washed clean from your sin—don’t roll around in the same immoral mud anymore. Remember that you belong to Christ and live as a child of God.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, let me never forget what you have done for me and what you have called me to be. I am your disciple; let me learn from you. You are my Savior; let me serve you in thanksgiving. Amen.

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