Daily Devotions

Stand Forever – December 12, 2018

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.
Malachi 3:2-4

Stand Forever


Daily Devotion – December 12, 2018

Devotion based on Malachi 3:2-4

See series: Devotions

America is in love with reality TV shows. We can’t get enough of “America’s Got Talent,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and the long running “Survivor.” We want to know: who will be the last one standing? Who will perform under pressure, play the game right, please the judges, and remain the last person standing at the end? The suspense is gripping. The drama is real.

As gripping as these shows are, they don’t really affect our lives and they certainly don’t affect our eternal fate. What will affect our eternal fate is whether we will be able to stand before God when we are brought before him on the Last Day. Talk about drama! This is the ultimate in reality. On that day we will not stand before a panel of celebrities. God himself will judge us. And there will be no immunity idol we can produce at the last minute to save ourselves.

The truth is that we don’t have what it takes to stand alone before God. Our peace comes from knowing Jesus already stood before God on our behalf. God punished Jesus for our sins when Jesus hung on the cross. Jesus met the standard of perfection God demands with his perfect life. Through faith, we are covered in his righteousness. This is what brings us peace. We know where we stand with almighty God because of Jesus. And, because of Jesus, we will stand forever with him in eternity.

Prayer:
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for the peace you give to us through the forgiveness of sins and the promise of life in heaven. Amen.

 

 

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

 

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Promises Kept – December 11, 2018

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.
Malachi 3:1

Promises Kept


Daily Devotion – December 11, 2018

Devotion based on Malachi 3:1

See series: Devotions

In our world, promises are often broken. As parents, we sometimes have to break promises to our children when circumstances outside of our control change. Children make promises to clean their rooms and wash the car but are then distracted or find something more fun. Just because someone makes a promise does not give us the certainty it is going to be kept.

Except when God makes promises. He always keeps his promises. He promised he would send a messenger to prepare the way for the Messiah. God kept that promise when he sent John the Baptist who prepared the people for the coming Messiah by calling them to repentance. After Adam and Eve fell into sin, God promised he would send a Savior who would crush the devil’s head and reconcile God and man. God kept that promise when he sent Jesus into the world who lived perfectly as we could not, who died on the cross to pay for our sins, and who rose from the grave to conquer death. God has kept every single promise he has ever made!

This gives us the peace of knowing he will continue to keep every promise to us. We don’t have to fear the problems we face or be filled with anxiety over what is to come. God has always been faithful to his promises and always will be. May this truth bring you peace today.

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, come quickly in your might and with your power. Give us peace as we face the challenges of today knowing that one day you will have us to live with you eternally in heaven. Amen.

 

 

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

 

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A Peaceful Highway – December 10, 2018

As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.'”
Luke 3:4-6

A Peaceful Highway


Daily Devotion – December 10, 2018

Devotion based on Luke 3:4-6

See series: Devotions

In ancient times, roads were often built or improved before a king would travel to a distant country. The king was supposed to have a smooth, easy ride from one place to another. The more important or well-loved the king, the bigger and better the highway. You could learn a lot about a king by looking at how nice a road was built for him.

As we prepare for the arrival of our King, Jesus, this Advent season, how will we prepare the way for him to come into our hearts? It begins by repenting of everything that would get in the way—every selfish thought, every evil intention, every hurtful word, every mean look, every arrogant attitude. Repentance begins with recognizing what is wrong in our lives and then looking to Jesus as the solution to our sins. Knowing that in him we have forgiveness, we seek to thank him with lives that please him.

In the days before Jesus’ ministry, God used John the Baptist to prepare the way for King Jesus. Today, God uses people like pastors to preach God’s Word and prepare us for the arrival of our King. Or, he uses our reading of the Bible or a devotion such as this one. May God continue to prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our King!

Prayer:
Loving Savior, we thank you for paving your way to our hearts and leading us to repent; trusting in you for forgiveness. Amen.

 

 

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

 

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Forgiveness Brings Peace – December 9, 2018

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Luke 3:1-3

Forgiveness Brings Peace


Daily Devotion – December 9, 2018

Devotion based on Luke 3:1-3

See series: Devotions

Guilt is a terrible burden to bear. Maybe you stole a cookie from mom’s cookie jar. Maybe you nicked someone’s car in a parking lot but then drove off. Maybe there’s a dark secret that needs to be admitted to a spouse before a marriage splits at the seams. Guilt over sins we have committed can shatter any semblance of peace our hearts once held. Guilt keeps us awake at night and makes us not want to wake up in the morning. As painful as it is, admitting when we have been wrong is the first step in returning peace to our hearts.

This is what John the Baptist was preaching in the desert country around the Jordan River. He was preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John’s whole purpose was getting people ready to meet their Savior, Jesus. The only way for them to be prepared to meet their Savior was to admit that they needed a Savior. When they did, John pointed them to Jesus and the forgiveness only he can provide.

The forgiveness Jesus brings is for you too. No sin is too big for Jesus to forgive. No guilt can overcome the victory Jesus won for you on the cross.

Admitting guilt and getting everything out in the open is very hard to do. It is especially hard to admit your guilt to the person whom you have wronged. But when you repent, you can rest assured that God has forgiven you, even if no one else will. God’s forgiveness brings peace.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, giver of peace, extend your forgiveness to me and rid my heart of guilt through the work of your Son, my Savior, Jesus. Amen.

 

 

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

 

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Hope That Increases Love – December 8, 2018

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
1 Thessalonians 3:12

Hope That Increases Love


Daily Devotion – December 8, 2018

Devotion based on 1 Thessalonians 3:12

See series: Devotions

The weeks before Christmas are called Advent—it’s a Latin word that means “coming.” Advent invites us to wait—quietly and patiently for Jesus to come this Christmas. But do you know how hard it is to wait? Holiday times are hectic and stressful. We sing “Joy to the World,” but family fighting, overspending, and physical exhaustion steal our joy and drain our love. Toys don’t work without batteries. Smart phones die without an overnight charge. Cars don’t run without gas. When we get impatient or speak sarcastically, it shows our supply of love is running on empty.

But what if God could give the kind of holiday love that actually increases your love and patience in the coming days before Christmas? Would that help as you wait? Would that make it easier for others to be around you? God wants to fill you up with his love. Every day before Christmas, we remember why we are looking so forward to celebrate Jesus’ birth. His tiny hands and feet born at Christmas were the same hands and feet that died on the cross. Now, the living Jesus is just the proof that we need, “God will always love me!”

As you head into the first weekend of December, hear the voice of Advent encourage, “Wait, slow down a bit! Don’t get entangled in the hustle and the bustle of the season. Get focused instead on what really matters. It’s Jesus.” Love is God’s gift to you. Christ’s love makes it possible for our hearts to brim over in love and patience to others like our children or spouse, our siblings or coworkers, our friends and neighbors.

While you patiently wait for Christmas to come, pray that God would so fill our hearts, souls, and minds that we want to then share this love with someone who is empty inside and desperately in need of love. No outside love can fill that void. Only Jesus and his love can!

Prayer:
Dear Lord, as we wait for your coming, supply what you know is lacking inside us. Deepen our faith and fill us with your love so that our love increases for you and for others. Amen.

 

 

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

 

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Hope that Deepens Faith – December 7, 2018

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
1 Thessalonians 3:9-10

Hope that Deepens Faith


Daily Devotion – December 7, 2018

Devotion based on 1 Thessalonians 3:9-10

See series: Devotions

The Apostle Paul was in a happy mood. He just received some good news. A group of believers were safe. Troublemakers had stirred up bad feelings toward anyone who believed in Jesus. They formed a mob, they started a riot. For months, Paul worried about what happened to the believers. Finally, news reached Paul’s ears. Not only did the little group survive, but they were growing stronger in their faith! The good news made Paul so happy! “How can we thank God enough for you,” he cried out.

Have you experienced that feeling when your worst fears never materialized?

  • A young child imagines a lurking closet shadow to be a real monster. A flick of the light switch shows it was only a hanging shirt. What a relief!
  • A student thinks he bombed a test, but he got an “A!” What joy!
  • The auto shop warns the repair bill may be huge, but it turns to be a quick fix! What happiness!
  • The doctor cautions about the outcome of the medical tests, but it turns out to be nothing! What a surprise! You just want to hug someone!

Jesus gives us news this Christmas that gives real hope, it dispels the dark and replaces fears. What good is a house filled with decorations and lights if your heart is empty of Jesus? Only Jesus can fill a heart “lacking in faith.”

The Apostle Paul wanted only the best for the people that he loved. So he shared Jesus with them. He prayed for their faith to be safe and strong. Do you know someone who lives in the dark because they don’t know Jesus? Are you worried that they may be in real danger? Maybe Jesus can use you to share him, so their faith may be in Jesus too! Start thinking and praying that Jesus turns on the light of faith and gives them the gift of hope in their hearts and may share it through you.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, your coming this Christmas makes us so happy! Supply what is lacking in our faith. Make it strong! Give us someone to share our happiness so the gift of hope can be theirs too! Amen.

 

 

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

 

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Hope When Facing Stress – December 6, 2018

[Jesus said] “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
Luke 21:34-36

Hope When Facing Stress


Daily Devotion – December 6, 2018

Devotion based on Luke 21:34-36

See series: Devotions

Andy Williams raised Christmas expectations when he sang his Christmas classic, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” What a wonderful time of year for holiday songs and Hallmark Channel movies! We dream of a white Christmas and the perfect family gathering.

But what happens when our dreamy expectations for the perfect Christmas don’t come true? It may explain why holiday times are some of the most stressful days of the year for people. For some it’s the stress of fighting the crowds and trying to find the perfect gift. For others it’s the stress of getting everything decorated, baked, and ready on time. We stress from trying to create the wonderful Christmas we dream about and now, it’s only 19 days away! Stress is dangerous if it tempts us to cope with it in unhealthy ways—unhealthy for the body and the soul. That’s why Jesus warned: “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life” (v. 34).

Are you feeling the holiday stress? Do you want to get rid of it? Then Jesus offers this remedy: He said “Be always on the watch, and pray” (v. 36). This time of year requires spiritual vigilance and prayer. Our hope for the perfect Christmas is connected to the One whose love led him to the cradle and then to the cross for us. Our hope for the best future possible isn’t a dream. It’s certain because it rests on him who promised to come back again to take us to be with himself forever. He’s the One who said “Be on guard! Be alert!”

We may not be able to completely insulate ourselves from all stress. But we can take what is stressing us to the Lord of all who loves us completely. Now we are ready to face our stress and to work it out in faith-filled, faith-building ways, in Jesus!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when the holiday season or earth’s end-time season gets me stressed, help me find rest in you and help me to remain vigilant in my walk of faith with you. Amen.

 

 

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

 

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Hope for the Future – December 5, 2018

[Jesus] told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Luke 21:29-33

Hope for the Future


Daily Devotion – December 5, 2018

Devotion based on Luke 21:29-33

See series: Devotions

Today, Jesus invites us to think of budding trees. When blossoms burst forth, the message is clear: Summer will soon be here!

I know. It’s December. In many places this time of year, the trees are bare and the temperature is cold. But did you know there are trees “blooming” this time of year? It’s Christmas tree! The message is clear: Christmas is drawing near!

So when Jesus talks about fig trees blooming, he’s really talking about having our souls ready for the advent of his kingdom, when he comes again. The Christmas tree and its decorations can help get us ready for the same:

  • The evergreen tree reminds us that Jesus is the ever-living and eternal Son of God. But he was also born into our world in human flesh so that he could die for our sins. Jesus was even nailed to a wood tree—the cross.
  • The Christmas colors of green and red represent life (green) and death (red). We have life because Jesus gave his life and shed his red blood for us.
  • The star on top of the Christmas tree reminds us of the star that led the Wise Men to find the baby Jesus.
  • All the lights on the Christmas tree remind us that Jesus is the Light in a sin-darkened world. He illuminates our hearts and minds to see God’s truth: that he really is our promised Savior!

So when you see a Christmas tree, remember its “full-bloom” message: God’s kingdom is coming! Jesus is coming! What hope the message of Christmas gives us! Jesus will return to deliver you to his eternal kingdom! That’s a message that not only gets us excited, but also ready to celebrate Christmas, but especially to meet Jesus!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, during this blessed and busy Christmas season, use the sight of the Christmas tree and its decorations to point our attention to you. Help us keep our focus on you so we will be prepared to meet you when you come again! Amen.

 

 

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

 

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Hope in the Face of Fear – December 4, 2018

[Jesus said] “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Luke 21:25-28

Hope in the Face of Fear


Daily Devotion – December 4, 2018

Devotion based on Luke 21:25-28

See series: Devotions

You may not believe it, but some people are afraid of Christmas. There’s even a fancy-sounding name for this. It’s called: “festivalisophobia.” A fear of festivals.

You might be wondering, “Why would people be afraid of Christmas?” For some, it may be Christmas trees or flashing Christmas lights. More serious are those who are afraid of the message of Christmas. Think about it: If you don’t understand who this holiday is about and why his birth is such a big deal, Christmas and everything that accompanies it can be confusing, even scary!

If Christmas celebrates Jesus’ first coming into our world; can you imagine how afraid those same people might be at Jesus’ second coming on the Last Day? Jesus’ words are startling and scary: “Nations will be in anguish and perplexity…People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world” (vv. 26-27).

But Jesus encourages a very different kind of reaction to the signs of his second coming: “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads.” (v. 28). Jesus doesn’t want us cowering, but confident. He doesn’t want us afraid, but anticipating and ready! Why? “Because your redemption is drawing near” (v. 28).

When you know who Jesus is and how his blood made amends for you sins, there is absolutely nothing to fear, and certainly not Christmas! Not even the scary-sounding events described at the end of this age! Jesus gives us hope in the face of fears!

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, you came to this world to give us hope. Draw us close to you. Quiet our fears and comfort us with your coming. Remind us that you are coming back for us to take us to be with you forever in heaven! Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Amen.

 

 

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

 

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The Hope of Salvation – December 3, 2018

“In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: the LORD Our Righteous Savior.”
Jeremiah 33:15-16

The Hope of Salvation


Daily Devotion – December 3, 2018

Devotion based on Jeremiah 33:15-16

See series: Devotions

Ever hear someone begin a sentence by saying, “Back in my day…” Maybe it was a parent or grandparent reminiscing about experiences in life and how different things are today compared to “back in my day.” Depending on the situation, life could either have been more difficult or better.

In some ways life has been made easier. Rapid advancements in technology have transformed how we communicate and made it possible to stay better connected with each other. At the same time, some may argue those very advancements are keeping people from talking face-to-face with each other: “Back in my day, neighbors would just drop by to say, ‘Hi.’ Back in my day, kids could play outside all day unsupervised.”

When the prophet Jeremiah looked back at his days the memory of his people’s past made him wince. They wandered from God, they were unfaithful to him. What a painful memory. Jeremiah knew their only hope of standing before a just and holy God lay not in the past but in the future. That’s why Jeremiah begins today’s passage, “In those days…” He’s looking ahead in hope to a future descendant someone who would “sprout” from ancient King David’s family tree. He would be faithful and save people from their sinful past.

Does the memory of your past make you wince? Our only hope of standing before a just and holy God is by looking ahead this Christmas to the Branch who sprouted from ancient King David’s family tree. He is Jesus! Jesus made right all our past wrongs. Jesus satisfied God’s demands. We are saved from our past and we find our eternal safety in Christ. God’s promise has come true! He packaged and delivered it in a baby in a manger.

So, in these days before Christmas, Jesus’ gives us something to look back at and be thankful. Because of Jesus, we have a future hope of salvation!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for the salvation you have secured for us through your righteousness. Amen.

 

 

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

 

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A Fulfilled Promise Brings Hope – December 2, 2018

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.”
Jeremiah 33:14

A Fulfilled Promise Brings Hope


Daily Devotion – December 2, 2018

Devotion based on Jeremiah 33:14

See series: Devotions

When a dog hears you say the words “outside” or “walk,” you better be taking that dog for a walk! Even if it’s something that only sounds like one of those words, he’s hearing you make a promise, “We’re going for a walk!”

When a child hears the hint or suggestion of doing something or going somewhere exciting, don’t they react with similar enthusiasm? What a thrill when a child’s ears hear a parent announce, “Pack a bag. We are leaving for grandma and grandpa’s house tomorrow!” Oh my, what excitement is unleashed. From a child’s perspective, they just can’t wait!

Sadly, there are times when promises made become promises broken. Someone did not keep their word. The let-down is huge. The disappointment is real. When that begins to happen too often, we question if the promise is real. We stop believing.

Not so with our Lord. “The days are coming…,” he promised. Although the wait seemed long to God’s people of the Old Testament, God’s promises remained with them. God had made and fulfilled many promises to his people.

Those fulfilled promises were preludes to a greater promise—or as Jeremiah called it in today’s passage, “the good promise.” All God’s promises gave people hope in God’s greater promise yet to be fulfilled. This promise was so good, God repeated it over and over to his people throughout history. People believed in it. Why? Because God was the promise-maker. The Lord always keeps his promises!

The season of Advent before Christmas is so exciting—Christ is coming! It means God kept his “good promise” that he made to us! God’s fulfilled promises gives us the certain hope—that when God makes a promise, he will always keep it!

Prayer:
God of fulfilled promises, make good your promise to return to us. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.

 

 

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

 

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Hope in a Name – December 1, 2018

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.'”
Jeremiah 33:14-16

Hope in a Name


Daily Devotion – December 1, 2018

Devotion based on Jeremiah 33:14-16

See series: Devotions

A name is a very important thing. That’s because a name says something about a person. Researchers have found that within a culture people tend to agree on characteristics that are associated with any given name. In other words, we form similar ideas about a person, whether it be their race, social status, or even profession, just by hearing their name. For example, most people in America trust someone who is named “Lincoln,” and when they hear the name “Tiffany,” they think of someone who is wealthy.

The prophet, Jeremiah, comforted the people of Judah, who had experienced destruction at the hands of the Babylonian army, by sharing with them a name. He promised them that in the midst of their despair a righteous Branch would sprout from David’s line and bring salvation. This righteous Branch would be called “The Lord, our righteousness.”

Could you imagine being given that name? Could you imagine telling people that your name was “righteousness?” Jesus Christ could, because when he was born into this world, he lived a perfectly righteous life by following all of God’s commands. He not only did what no one else has ever done, he took our sins upon himself and give us his perfect righteousness in their place. The apostle Paul says, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

A name says something about someone. “The Lord, our righteousness” is a name that could only fit one person. Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again to be our righteousness. Now when you trust in him you are given another name. Like the bride who takes the name of her husband, believers take the name of their Savior Jesus—”righteous.” This name gives us hope and assures us of our eternal future of peace and safety with him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for being my righteousness and for taking my sin upon yourself. Help me to always find hope in your perfect life and innocent death in my place. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

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

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Thankful for Peace – November 30, 2018

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

Thankful for Peace


Daily Devotion – November 30, 2018

Devotion based on Colossians 3:15

See series: Devotions

Peace. It’s something everyone longs for. We’re getting close to that time of year when celebrities are asked during interviews what they want for Christmas, and many will simply utter some version of the cliché “world peace.” Yet, it is often extremely difficult to achieve.

Peace. It’s an awesome gift that Jesus gives you. However, it is a different kind of peace than the one people often seek. It is better.

What is this peace? It is certainly not the absence of trouble or conflict in life. If that is the kind of peace Jesus promises to give, then he’s not speaking the truth because there is conflict and trouble in life.

The peace that Jesus gives is not peace from trouble, it is peace in the midst of it. It is peace between you and God. It is yours no matter how unpeaceful your life and the lives of those around you might be.

This peace means that when your head hits the pillow at night and your mind begins to review the events that took place that day, you can actually sleep because you are okay with God. The things that you messed up during the day, the people you hurt, the angry words you spoke, the unkind or even hateful thoughts that erupted in your mind—Jesus shed his blood to remove them all.

That means if something were to happen while you sleep and the next time you open your eyes you find yourself face to face with the Judge of heaven and earth, he is not going to bring out a long list of sins and condemn you for them. Jesus was condemned in your place. Your sin has been removed. There is nothing standing in the way of your relationship with God—a relationship that will last eternally in heaven.

That’s the peace of Christ, and it’s yours! Be thankful!

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for shedding your blood on the cross to take away my sins and give me peace with God. That peace is so precious, especially when there is trouble and conflict all around in my life. Forgive me for the times I have not been thankful for it. Help me to treasure this precious gift. In your holy name I ask it. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Kingdom That Lasts Forever – November 29, 2018

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
Hebrews 12:28

A Kingdom That Lasts Forever


Daily Devotion – November 29, 2018

Devotion based on Hebrews 12:28

See series: Devotions

People who live near a fault line ought to be ready to deal with earthquakes. Far beneath them, hidden from sight in the earth’s crust, tectonic movement has the potential to cause the ground on which they stand to give way.

Today’s reading reminds us that there is another kind of fault line that runs through all of creation. There is a beneath-the-surface problem that ought to put every one of us on high alert. Hidden beneath the good qualities we see in ourselves and others is something ominous, something that rumbles to the surface from time to time in the form of selfishness, animosity, even violence. But even when no fault line is evident, the hidden problem remains. The problem is sin, and we are all guilty of it, for as Scripture says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Scripture also reveals that a quake like no other is headed our way, one that is far too powerful to be measured on the Richter scale. “That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat” (2 Peter 3:12). It’s bad enough to be caught in one of earth’s natural disasters. Where can you go when all the heavens and the earth are shaken?

Take heart! There is a kingdom that cannot be shaken, the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

The devil tried tempting Jesus into sin. Jesus wouldn’t sin. Enemies of Jesus thought they could stop him by crucifying him, but he rose from the dead. Jesus the Son of God still rules at God’s right hand, and his kingdom will never end. Everyone who believes in Jesus is a citizen of his kingdom. Just like Jesus, their sin can’t hurt them, and their death can’t stop them. Even when everything in all of creation is destroyed on the Last Day, those in Christ’s kingdom will come through unharmed. All who believe in Jesus are standing on solid ground.

Picture someone who has made it through an earthquake unscathed. They are in awe of what just happened. They are amazed to be alive. They breathe a great sigh of relief. Fellow believer in Jesus, that’s what it will be like for you on the Last Day. In fact, that’s what your life is like right now. Give thanks to Jesus in all you do and serve him with awe and respect. Through faith in Jesus, you have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, my Savior and my King, thank you for rescuing me from sin and death. Be my solid ground today and always. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Glorious Jesus Rules Eternally – November 28, 2018

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 peoples, nations and men 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

Glorious Jesus Rules Eternally


Daily Devotion – November 28, 2018

Devotion based on Daniel 7:13,14

See series: Devotions

Do you wish you could look into the future and see what will happen with all of those American politicians elected earlier this month? Skeptics might say that if the past is any indication, whatever happens won’t be as good as the political leaders predicted it would be.

Our Bible reading for today looks into the future work of a leader, and the news is better. Jesus is that leader. You did not choose him to be your leader. Instead, the Ancient of Days, God the Father, chose Jesus from eternity to be your Lord.

Every promise Jesus made has come true so far, and you can be sure that all of his promises will continue to be fulfilled in the future. How can you be so sure? Jesus is fully human—true man. But he is also fully divine—true God. After he died, he rose from the dead, and soon he will come with the clouds of heaven. God the Father wants you to know that, although Jesus is a human being, he has the same authority, glory, and power that he has as God from eternity. He is both God and man, and that’s great news for you.

As God and man in one person, he will continue to rule forever. You don’t have to worry about him being overthrown or replaced with a different leader who has a different agenda. He understands what you are going through. He sympathizes with your weaknesses, and he promises to help and strengthen you.

Worship this leader because he lived a perfect life in your place. He died to take the punishment for your sins. He promised that, through faith in him, you will join him in heaven. And he says that he will take care of your present the way he has also taken care of your future.

Be glad that you don’t have to worry about his leadership. Glorious Jesus rules eternally for your welfare now and for your future in heaven.

Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 207:6)
O Jesus Christ, do not delay, but hasten our salvation;
We often tremble on our way in fear and tribulation.
Your saints are waiting patiently;
Come soon, Redeemer; make us free from every evil.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Find Your Peace this Holiday Season – November 27, 2018

Grace and peace to you. . .from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. 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.
Revelation 1:4b-6

Find Your Peace this Holiday Season


Daily Devotion – November 27, 2018

Devotion based on Revelation 1:4b-6

See series: Devotions

Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Was the meal perfect? Did you get together with family? Did you spend enough time with them? Did you give enough attention to your children? Did you get all the dishes done? Did you have enough help? Did you get the item(s) you wanted on Black Friday? Did you stay within budget? Were you kind enough to others who had to eat Thanksgiving dinner alone? Did you help those who had no ability to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for themselves or their family?

Oh, and Christmas is coming soon. Will it be perfect? Will the house be clean? Will your decorated home resemble one you might see on a Hallmark Christmas movie? Will everyone stay healthy? Will the Christmas program be ready? Will there be time to make cookies? Will you find just the right gift for everyone on your list? Will anyone find just the right gift for you? Will you set aside enough time for yourself? When Christmas is over, will you be emotionally filled or emotionally exhausted?

What has often been called “The most wonderful time of the year” can, in reality, be one of the most hectic. The season that promises “peace on earth” can, as we go through it, actually fill us with exactly the opposite as we cycle through the various “Did you …”s, “Were you …”s, and “Will you …”s that are often difficult to answer with any type of certainty.

Scripture gives us a better place to focus our attention each day. Better than asking “Did you …?” is asking “Did he …?”

Did Jesus love you enough to die for you, whether or not you burned the turkey? Yes.
Did Jesus’ sacrifice declare you perfect to God, no matter what anyone thinks of your gifts or decorations? Yes.
Did Jesus rise from the dead to assure you that your home of perfection in heaven is already waiting? Yes.
Will he one day come back, look at you, and say “Well done” in front of everyone? Yes.
Will he walk with you this holiday season and provide you with the peace he promises? Yes.
Will he cover with his grace your inevitable weaknesses and mistakes? Yes.

Yes. Yes. A thousand times—yes!

This holiday season, find your peace by looking first to Jesus; the only one who can truly give such a precious gift.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, you were faithful in giving us a Savior. May we be faithful in looking for peace first from him this holiday season. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Heavenly King of Hearts – November 26, 2018

[Jesus said,]”… I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
John 18:37

The Heavenly King of Hearts


Daily Devotion – November 26, 2018

Devotion based on John 18:37

See series: Devotions

Jesus appeared poor and powerless before Pontius Pilate. Yet Christ is the King who meets and exceeds all our needs. His aim was not to advance an army to overcome an earthly empire. Christ came to reign as King of our hearts.

A war is waged to win control of your heart and mine. Such a battle for the human heart is not won by Christ the King with swords or spears, but with truth. The truth is, my heart hurts. It staggers because of the guilt of sin. It reels from the fallout of living in a sinful world. Persistent financial problems perplex my troubled heart with weariness and worry. The constant barrage of stress at home and work threaten to bury my heart in utter hopelessness. My heart longs for an answer to alleviate all my anxiety.

To my hurting heart comes Christ the King. He testifies to the truth as the holy Monarch who stood guiltless before Pilate. He is the heavenly King who emptied himself of all his glory. The King gave the dearest treasure, his own life, as he was lifted upon a cross. Selflessly he suffered death for his subjects as their perfect substitute.

The King of kings conquered sin completely. By his grace he gives the treasure of his kingdom to all who believe in him. Through the punishment he bore, we now have peace with God. In perfect love, he fills the hurting heart with the joy of his forgiveness. Through his powerful gospel promises he reigns triumphant in human hearts.

The love of our King is perfect and unfading. Moved by his love, we live to serve him joyfully as we await his return. The Word of God opens our eyes to the truth of his kingly, holy will. Our King creates in us a new heart that longs to labor in love for him who sacrificially gave himself to win our eternal salvation.

One day the King who came in humility will return in triumphant glory. On the Last Day he will bring his believing subjects to the heavenly kingdom he has prepared for them. We look forward to the day when all our worry and weariness, all our doubts and difficulties will be no more. He will keep his promise of eternal deliverance.

Trust the truth of Christ the King. He reigns now and eternally as the heavenly King of hearts.

Prayer:
Almighty King, I praise you for your triumphant victory through the cross. Continue to testify to the truth of your boundless love so that your kingdom may come to many others. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Your Real King – November 25, 2018

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
Matthew 27:27-31

Your Real King


Daily Devotion – November 25, 2018

Devotion based on Matthew 27:27-31

See series: Devotions

Children raised on fast food sit in front of a home-cooked meal. They stare at the chicken breast and baked potato and ask: “What is it?” The only potatoes they’ve known are cut and deep-fried. And, as far as they know, chicken only comes in the form of patties, nuggets and fingers.

Sometimes we get such a strong and wrong picture of what something should be that we don’t even recognize the REAL THING when it’s sitting right in front of our face.

What does a king look like? The people of Jesus’ day “knew” that a king looked like the rulers of their day. They figured a king must always appear rich, powerful and honored. When they saw Jesus, they did not see a wealthy or powerful or respected man. They reacted wrongly and sinfully heaped abuse on Jesus with their cruel words and angry fists.

We dishonor Jesus, our King, too, but with quite different tactics. We call Jesus our King (you may be singing that in a Christmas song or two soon.) But how often have we let our lives or circumstances mock the rich grace and unlimited power of our King? When it comes to following our King, do we choose our whims and worries instead of our King’s commands and promises? We choose lust instead of purity; cursing instead of prayer and blessing; coveting instead of contentment. We choose worry instead of trust; fear instead of faith; hate instead of love.

Thank God that Jesus chose to be our King by his love and work on our behalf. In today’s section from God’s Word, Matthew tells us that Jesus did what only our REAL King could do. He allowed himself to be dishonored because our sin dishonored God. Jesus allowed himself to be mocked, beaten, and doomed to death because that’s what we deserved. Only our real King could step in and do this perfectly in our place. Only his death could lift the death penalty that hung over our heads. This is what our REAL King looks like.

You know your real King. Don’t let any imposters sit on the throne of your heart. No matter the temptations, the hardships, the uncertainties, and the suffering you face, they are not your king. They are imposters. You have a king–the Real King–Jesus!

When temptations and suffering flood into your life, Jesus may seem distant, weak, or uncaring. But remember, you’ve seen this before. When Jesus stood on trial, he did not look like the REAL King. Even as Jesus suffered and died, he was our all-powerful, gracious God. Jesus’ death and resurrection give us forgiveness, eternal life and peace. Your King promises you power for living for him, and his constant care and presence in your life now. Only your Real King could give such great gifts. When you see Jesus, you see your REAL KING.

Prayer:
Jesus, you are my King. In love for me, you did what no king should have to do–you suffered and died for a rebellious servant like me. Thank you for your forgiveness and care. Fill me with your love and faithfulness so that I always serve and honor you. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

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

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Jesus is Our Shepherd – November 24, 2018

“‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. … I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.'”
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 23-24

Jesus is Our Shepherd


Daily Devotion – November 24, 2018

Devotion based on Ezekiel 34:11-16, 23-24

See series: Devotions

Would you trust someone who was totally incompetent to work for you or with you? Would you give them total control? Probably not. The worldly proverb says, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!” While we aren’t here to debate if such a statement is in line with Christian humility, there is at least this truth in the proverb: “If I do something myself, it will be done to my standards!”

When God observed his people in Ezekiel’s time, he saw leaders, shepherds, who weren’t cutting it. He had entrusted to them the care of his chosen, dearly loved people. He had entrusted their spiritual lives to them, and they were failing their people and failing God. They refused to lead in the way that God wanted them to, but rather they led the people to follow after their own desires and to seek their own definition of happiness.

Too often we act like sheep without a shepherd. Though God places shepherds all around us, though he shepherds us with his Word, too often we follow our own noses and chase after our own desires. Like those shepherds of old, we deserve to be shoved aside. We deserve to lose our place in God’s flock and our place in this world. We deserve to suffer and to die for our sins.

But God doesn’t treat us the way our wanderings deserve. God says: “I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak.” In fact, in these eight verses, he says I (or my) 16 times. “I will do it. I will fix it. I will make it right!” says the Lord. God wanted it done right, so he did it himself.

“I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them.” God sends a Shepherd King. He sends David. David was a great king, but he was dead for 400 years when these words were written. The Shepherd King that God would send was a descendant of David. This is Jesus, God’s Own Shepherd.

Jesus shepherded us as he laid down his life to protect his sheep from sin and death. He died so that we could live. And even now he rules and reigns, guards and guides, in this life and even through the valley of the shadow of death. Safe in his care he leads us, from this world into the green pastures of everlasting life in heaven.

Rejoice! It’s a good thing to have Jesus as our Shepherd and King!

Prayer:
Thank you, Lord God, for making Jesus our Shepherd King. We praise you for securing our salvation and shepherding us in this world and for promising us the green pastures of heavenly peace. In the name of our Shepherd King we pray, Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

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

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Give Thanks – November 23, 2018

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5

Give Thanks


Daily Devotion – November 23, 2018

Devotion based on Psalm 100:4-5

See series: Devotions

Be thankful. It’s good for us. There are many secular studies that show that gratitude is an emotionally and physically beneficial thing for us. Daily journaling reasons to be thankful is a good thing.

People can be thankful for things. But thankfulness isn’t “complete” until we’re also thankful to someone—the one responsible for giving us those good things.

In Psalm 100, the grateful writer is thankful and praises God. Why? The LORD is good. The LORD’S love and faithfulness continue forever.

Christians are grateful to God. We are thankful because God is good to us. Thankfulness to God is honest and appropriate. Who ultimately is responsible for every good gift in our lives? Every good spiritual, physical, and emotional blessing we have ultimately comes from God.

What’s on your thankfulness list? Perhaps a start to a thankfulness list could look something like this: God blesses me with life, health, food, clothes, shelter, family, friends, and work. Jesus lived, died, and rose for me and my salvation. I’m redeemed and forgiven. The Holy Spirit works through his Word to create and strengthen faith, grow me in faith, and increase his peace in my heart. What else could you add to your thankfulness list?

How do you plan to regularly thank God? You can thank God in your daily prayers after meditating on God’s Word. Perhaps it’ll be in morning conversations with family and friends. You can thank God in a journal (digital or paper), or by following a book (like 364 Days of Thanksgiving), or in your prayers before you fall asleep at night.

Thank you, LORD. You are good. Your love and faithfulness endure forever.

Prayer:
Lord, you are faithfully and forever good and loving to me. Forgive my ingratitude. Open my eyes and heart to see all the ways you love and bless me. Fill me with gratitude for your goodness to me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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His Love Endures Forever – November 22, 2018

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1

His Love Endures Forever


Daily Devotion – November 22, 2018

Devotion based on Psalm 136:1

See series: Devotions

It’s been said that we could thank the Lord for something different every day of our lives without ever running out of things to give thanks for. It’s true, the Lord has blessed each of us in too many ways to count. Today’s verse helps us remember the all-embracing source for all those blessings: The Lord loves us.

Focus on this: The Lord loves you. When Jesus the Savior died on the cross, he died for you. When he rose from the dead on the third day, he rose for you. Everything Jesus did he did for you, and all of it counts for you. And if the Lord has given up his Son for you, won’t he also give you everything else you need in life and more?

It’s easy to forget how much the Lord loves us. We might be feeling the guilt of a sin we’ve committed; it might be hard to imagine that the Lord loves us after that. We might be going through troubles and hardships that make it hard to see the Lord’s love in a given moment. On the other hand, when things are going well, it’s easy to forget the source of our happiness.

It’s true that your sins do indeed offend God, and you do indeed deserve punishment from him. But Jesus has paid for your sins. Even as you confess your sins and ask for God’s mercy, keep your eye on the cross of Jesus, and remember: The Lord loves you.

What’s more, there are no strings attached to the Lord’s love. Some may think that if we aren’t thankful enough, the Lord will take his love away from us again. But the Lord’s love doesn’t depend on our thankfulness. The words of today’s verse are clear: his love endures forever. How can we help but give thanks for love such as this?

Happy Thanksgiving Day. God loves you!

Prayer:
Dear Lord, today and every day, help me remember your unchanging love, and give me a thankful heart. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Give Thanks to the Lord – November 21, 2018

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

Give Thanks to the Lord


Daily Devotion – November 21, 2018

Devotion based on Daniel 12:1-3

See series: Devotions

When we give thanks to the Lord, we think of things like family and friends, food and clothing, shelter and possessions. Today’s Bible reading reminds us that we have even more blessings in view of the coming judgment day.

We have Michael and many other angels watching out for us. They keep watch over us and our loved ones, and they guard us in all our ways. With calamities going on all over the world, they watch and guard God’s people, eventually taking them safely home to heaven.

We have the promise of resurrection to eternal life. Through faith in Jesus, we are connected to his forgiveness and his righteousness. So when we awake from the temporary separation of soul and body that we call death, we will awake not to shame and contempt, but to everlasting life. We have that same promise for family and friends who have died in the Lord.

We have the Word of God. Those who build their lives on its foundation are wise, and they will shine in eternity like the brightness of the heavens. Those who speak the Word of God lead many to the righteousness of Jesus, the basis of our salvation, and they will shine like the stars for ever and ever.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!

Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 613:4)
Even so, Lord, quickly come
To your final harvest home;
Gather all your people in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified,
In your garner to abide.
Come with all your angels, come;
Raise the glorious harvest home. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Stop Working So Hard – November 20, 2018

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this: . . . “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
Hebrews 10:11-15,17-18

Stop Working So Hard


Daily Devotion – November 20, 2018

Devotion based on Hebrews 10:11-15,17-18

See series: Devotions

There are some tasks that never seem to be done. No matter how often we brush our teeth, we always have to brush them again. No matter how many times we clean the house, the dust keeps reappearing. No matter how much time we spend working on the cars and lawnmowers, there’s something that will need to be fixed, tweaked, improved, or replaced before too much time goes by. Day after day, task after task, our work is seemingly never done. “When,” you might ask, “have I ever done enough to feel perfectly satisfied that my work is done?” With many tasks, the answer may simply be—never.

Do you ever ask the same question about your life? When do you have the right to feel perfectly satisfied with yourself? Have you done enough to love your spouse? Have you taught your children enough about God and his Word? Are you faithful enough at work? Have you dedicated enough time to serving others? Have you walked away from that temptation enough times to feel good about where you are in life? Day after day, task after task, in every area and relationship of life, there is seemingly more work that must always be done.

This was true also for the priests in the Old Testament. Their work was never done. Day after day, again and again, they offered sacrifices.

When we evaluate our lives according to how closely they model God’s will revealed in his Word, there is always more that must be done. That truth might compel us, then, to work harder and to sacrifice more of our time and energy to do better.

But that’s not what Scripture tells us to do. We are told, rather, to stop looking at the quality of our work and of our life and look instead at the quality of the work and life of Jesus. “By [his] one sacrifice, he has made [us] perfect forever.” The sacrifice of his perfect life was enough to cover over every sin and, therefore, enough to compel God to declare that “Their sins . . . I will remember no more.”

And if God does not remember your sins; if God already feels perfectly satisfied with who you are in Christ, then you can as well. You can stop working so hard to find what has already been given to you in Christ.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, let us forever find rest in the sacrifice of Christ, so that we will be free to use our time and energy to sacrifice for those around us. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Life-Giving Voice – November 19, 2018

John 5:25,28,29
“…the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live…all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out.”
John 5:25,28,29

The Life-Giving Voice


Daily Devotion – November 19, 2018

Devotion based on John 5:25,28,29

See series: Devotions

Various voices vie for our attention every day. Yet there is one voice among them all that offers everlasting refuge and relief. From the immutable message of the Bible I hear the comforting voice of Christ Jesus.

Jesus’ voice stands in sharp contrast to the enticing voice of the world. Daily, the sinful world seeks to deceive me with its empty promise of pleasure and its vain pledge of treasure. In the midst of the earthly temptations which allure me, the voice of my conscience is speaking too. It convicts me of my guilt and sin. Furthermore, the holy voice of God thunders with the verdict of death upon me for my sin.

Jesus’ voice cuts through the hopeless clamor of despair. He comes with his good news of life! His message reaches the ears and changes the heart. His word provides the answer to the curse of sin. The curse of my sin was placed upon him as he offered his life upon the cross. From Calvary Jesus cried, “It is finished.” In death, his voice was the voice of victory for a dying world of sinners. Through the gospel Jesus freely gives pardon for all my sins. While I live on earth, his word is my life. His message provides heavenly hope that revives me and divine peace that comforts me.

The gospel message will also comfort me as death draws ever nearer. One day my voice will be silenced by the grave. Yet even in the sleep of death, I will hear that victorious voice of the risen Savior. From the dust and ashes of death, Jesus will call me to come forth from the grave. By his grace, he will give me eternal life.

When I rise to live with Jesus in heaven, I rejoice to know that all of the voices that plague me in this life will be silenced. No longer will the voice of the world tempt me; no longer will the voice of Satan accuse me; no longer will the voice of fear disquiet me; no longer will the voice of death shake me! My living Savior will bring me to that home of endless life and boundless joy.

Amidst all the voices vying for your attention, one voice stands out. Trust the voice of Jesus. He gives life now and promises eternal life to come!

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, continually renew my life through your word. Calm my troubled heart with the promise of your love. Inspire me with the sure hope of eternal life to come. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Circle of Life – November 18, 2018

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 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. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

The Circle of Life


Daily Devotion – November 18, 2018

Devotion based on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

See series: Devotions

I miss my dad.

He died when I was ten-years-old. Automobile accident. I remember the ache in my heart in the following months as our family adjusted to life without him.

Death stinks! It rips a huge hole in the heart of loved ones left behind. It tears them apart. It leaves them wishing for a few more joyful days with the person who passed.

Death stinks because of sin. Death became part of the “circle of life” when the human race chose to rebel against God. Our sin separates us from God, the source of all life. Without him, every sinner dies. We can do nothing to change this reality.

But God could and did.

His Son Jesus volunteered to die for us. The Father and Son worked out a plan that Jesus would die under God’s curse. God redirected his curse away from us and blasted Jesus with eternal death. Jesus suffered horribly, but he did it willingly to take the stink and sting out of death.

Death still hurts really badly because we miss people who have died. But we know that if they died in Jesus, we’ll see them again in heaven. (Dying in Jesus means dying with the trust that God will take you to heaven all because of Jesus.) When a Christian dies, we mourn, we cry, we hurt, but we also hope. We hope our loved one is in heaven because of Jesus. We hope we will be in heaven too, because of Jesus.

Unlike hoping for good weather tomorrow, our hope of heaven is guaranteed, rock solid, unchangeable, undeniable. Jesus conquered death by rising from the dead himself. He floods our hurting hearts at the side of a casket with the hope of eternal life. We can and do depend on this hope.

So, while I miss my dad, I know I will see him again. I will get to know him man to man. I’ll hear his laugh again and experience that big heart of his. Most importantly, we’ll both enjoy spending time with our Savior and our God. Because we’ll be with the Lord forever.

How can I be sure? Jesus died for him. Jesus died for me. And Jesus died for you.

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for dying to take away our sins. Thank you for promising to give us heaven. By your love, take us home when the time comes so we can be with you and our loved ones forever. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

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

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