Tag Archive for: daily-devotions

God’s Desire for Us – June 11, 2022

The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
Genesis 11:6,7

God’s Desire for Us

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Daily Devotion – June 11, 2022

Devotion based on Genesis 11:6,7

See series: Devotions

What is God’s desire for us? What does he want for you and me?

God’s will is simple: God wants us to be with him for time and eternity. Because of that, God stepped into human history in a big way. Humanity was on the fast pace to completely rejecting God and his love. They were all about “making a name for themselves.” They were in rebellion against God, refusing to spread out around the world as God had instructed.

So, in amazing grace God confused their languages. Amazing grace? Yes!

Did you notice the name used for God? It’s “LORD.” With this name for God, we are reminded that our God is faithful; he is faithful to his justice but also faithful to his love. And so, in amazing grace, the Lord confused their languages. Why?

Because ultimately, that would result in the circumstances for the most people possible to turn their attention to him, believe in the Lord and end up in heaven.

And that’s God’s desire for us. He desires that as many of us as possible end up in heaven. And thank God; he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get us there!

Prayer:
Oh Savior, work in my life in whatever way necessary so that through your Word, I stay on the way to heaven. In your 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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The Spirit Brings Peace – June 10, 2022

[Jesus said] “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:26,27

The Spirit Brings Peace

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Daily Devotion – June 10, 2022

Devotion based on John 14:26,27

See series: Devotions

Are you looking for peace? We want there to be peace in the world, but then war is waged. We want to live peaceful and quite lives, but riots break out in the streets. We want there to be peace in our relationships, but sharp words stir things up. At the end of a long day, we just want some peace and quiet, but we come home to more work—a stack of laundry, something to fix, something to clean.

What is it that troubles you? What is happening in your life, internally or externally, that robs you of a sense of peace? Externally a war of evil is being waged. Internally, we wrestle sinful desires or guilt. We just want peace. We just need peace!

In this world the concept of peace is so elusive, and it always will be. The peace that our world dangles in front of us is just a concept. It’s an ideal that we’re striving for but never seem to find it.

The peace that Jesus gives is not merely a state of mind. It’s something that God declares. You have peace with God through the forgiveness of sins through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. God declares that you are at peace with him. You have the peace of a complete salvation—there is nothing left for you to do. Rest in the peace of Jesus and his love!

As Jesus was about to leave this world, he gave his disciples an out-of-this-world peace! He promised to send his Spirit to remind and to teach. Jesus hasn’t left us in this world to find our own peace. He gives us his Spirit to remind and teach by his Word that even as the battles rage internally and externally, we have peace. Peace with God. An out-of-this-world peace in Jesus and by his Spirit.

Prayer:
Come, Holy Spirit, and continually bring eternal, out-of-this-world peace in Jesus. 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 Spirit Unites Us with Each Other – June 9. 2022

“How is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
Acts 2:8-11

The Spirit Unites Us with Each Other

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Daily Devotion – June 9, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 2:8-11

See series: Devotions

He recently moved from overseas with his family. Everything was new. The language was not his native tongue. The food was not what he was accustomed to. He had to drive on new roads with new rules. Working and interacting in a new culture was not always easy.

Imagine the relief when he came across something familiar. Christianity was not predominate in his home country, but this man was a Christian. When he came to a Christian church in a country and culture not his own, he walked into something familiar. As his voice joined with others in praise to God, he and his family suddenly didn’t feel like strangers anymore.

After the worship service, he ran up to the pastor, service folder in hand. He exclaimed, “Pastor! In my country, in my language we say the same thing!” He pointed to prayers, lessons, words spoken in unison that confessed the triune God.

That is the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit works through the Word to unite us with God. In doing so, he also unites us with each other. No matter where you are from or what language you speak, together we hear and read the same powerful Word of God translated into our own native tongues.

When we read and study the Bible, or when we walk through those church doors, we’re stepping into a place where we find unity amid diversity. The Spirit takes us to a place that transcends time, language, and culture. With our unique backgrounds and cultures and languages we hear the same wonders of God proclaimed—the wonderful news of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the nations. Then our varied voices blend into one as we praise and proclaim one Lord and Savior. You’re no longer a stranger in a new place. You belong here now.

Prayer:
Come, Holy Spirit, unite and strengthen my bond with all believers everywhere by the power of your Word! 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 Spirit Unites Us With God – June 8, 2022

‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. . . . And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
Acts 2:17,21

The Spirit Unites Us With God

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Daily Devotion – June 8, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 2:17,21

See series: Devotions

“Daddy? Mommy? Help me!” The little girl calls out frantically. She was downstairs playing by herself when she tripped. It hurts. She feels all alone. For a moment, she doesn’t know where her parents are. Can they hear her? Will they come to help her? The cries intensify.

But as soon as he heard his daughter cry for help, Daddy leaped up from his desk and ran downstairs to help his daughter. All she needed was to be picked up, comforted, and to know that she was not alone as she rested in the arms of her father.

“Lord, help me!” We are down here, and God is in heaven. We trip and stumble. We experience something that hurts or something that terrifies us. At times, we may feel all alone. For a moment, we may wonder, “Can God hear me? Will he come to help me?” The cries intensify.

But before you ever cried out to the Lord, he has come to help you. First, he sent his Son to rescue you from the punishment of sin. By his dying and rising from the dead, Jesus has saved you eternally. Because of Jesus, you can call the God who made you “Father,” and he listens.

God also sent his Spirit, the Comforter. God is not far away. He’s closer than we might often realize. He sends his Spirit to dwell in you and in the heart of every believer. The Spirit unites us with the triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We are not left hanging in this life wondering if God still listens, cares, and will help us. He has come to help and comfort.

The Lord will come again to rescue you one last time from this world of troubles. Until then, he has given you his Spirit to comfort and assure you that you are not alone—you rest in the tender love and care of your God and your Father!

Prayer:
Come, Holy Spirt, and comfort me when I am hurt, strengthen me when I am weak, and keep me in your tender care. 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 Spirit Breaks Barriers – June 7, 2022

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues [languages] as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:4

The Spirit Breaks Barriers

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Daily Devotion – June 7, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 2:4

See series: Devotions

Have you ever experienced a language barrier? I was traveling in a foreign country and found myself at a loss for words. I knew what I wanted to say. I even tried as I pulled up the language learning app on my phone. But either a poor translation or mispronounced words made the native speaker laugh instead of understand. The barrier still remained.

Those language barriers have existed ever since tower of Babel. Early in human history, recorded in the Bible, everyone spoke a common language. However, when they united around a sinful purpose, God said, “Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other” (Genesis 11:7). And the barrier has remained to this day.

Those language barriers are also a reminder of a bigger barrier that once stood between us and God. That barrier didn’t cause embarrassment, or confusion. Sin once separated us from God eternally.

But the Spirit of God breaks those barriers. He broke the barrier of language on Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection, when he sent the Holy Sprit. All of a sudden, the language barriers were torn down by the Spirit. Jesus’ disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they were able to speak in other languages. Travels from all over the world heard the good news of Jesus in their very own language. And the barrier came down.

By the written Word of God, which has been translated into your language and many more, the Spirit is at work to tear down that barrier that once stood between you and God. By the good news of Jesus that you hear and read in your own language the Spirit creates and strengthens faith. In your very own language, you hear the good news that no barrier remains between you and God because Jesus paid your price. Jesus was crucified for you! Jesus was raised to life for you! Sin no longer separates you from God. It has been taken away.

Prayer:
Come, Holy Spirit, and tear down the barriers I have created. By your Word, strengthen my faith to know the love of God and complete forgiveness I have through Christ. 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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Pride Divides, The Spirit Unites – June 6, 2022

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down.
Genesis 11:4,5

Pride Divides, The Spirit Unites

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Daily Devotion – June 6, 2022

Devotion based on Genesis 11:4,5

See series: Devotions

It didn’t seem like they were doing anything wrong. They wanted to build a tower to reach the skies. They united around a building project. They were getting along.

But God had different plans for them. After the flood, he told Noah and his family to “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1). But the generations following Noah wanted to stay put. They were comfortable. They wanted to build more than just a tower. They wanted to build a name for themselves. Their pride led to their divide.

“The Lord came down” and confused their language, so that their building efforts came to screeching halt. They could not understand each other, so they parted ways.

Haven’t we wanted to build something and accomplish something to make a name for ourselves? Haven’t we planned according to our will above God’s will? Haven’t we made comfort and convenience a higher priority than doing what God wants us to do? That sinful pride divides.

But God unites. The Lord came down another time. This time he did not come to scatter. He came to gather. Jesus, true God and true man, came down from heaven to mend the divide your pride has caused between you and God. He came to save all who are scattered throughout the world. By his perfect life and death on the cross he made peace between you and God. He rose from the dead and promised to send the Holy Spirit.

And he did. He sent his Spirit 50 days after he rose from the dead on a day called Pentecost. He sends his Spirit to you through his Word and through baptism. The Spirit unites. He unites you with the God who created you and saved you. He unites you with his family—the church.

By the power of the Spirit, you are no longer separated from God; you are united to him, now and forever!

Prayer:
Come, Holy Spirit, and kindle in me the fire 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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Call on Him Who Listens and Saves – June 5, 2022

“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Acts 2:21

Call on Him Who Listens and Saves

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Daily Devotion – June 5, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 2:21

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Have you ever tried to phone someone only to discover that the number was changed and is now unlisted? This can be very frustrating, especially if you really need to reach that person.

Imagine not being able to reach God, or worse, having him hang up on you! But don’t be afraid of that. The apostle Peter tells us that a call to God, based on true faith in him as our Lord, will always get through. The “line” to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will never be disconnected for those who call on him.

These words also remind us that the day of judgment is fast approaching. It could come this year. It could come next week. Today is our time of grace; our time to call on the name of the Lord in faith and live with the blessing of being connected to him now and forever. This is also our time to point others to Jesus Christ who is the only source of their salvation, so that they too may call on the Lord in faith and be saved.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I thank and praise you for not turning a deaf ear to my cries for mercy and for sending your one and only Son to take the punishment my sins deserve. Help me call on you in faith for my eternal salvation and help me share this wonderful news with 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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Called to Preach – June 4, 2022

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Acts 16:6-10

Called to Preach

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Daily Devotion – June 4, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 16:6-10

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When Jesus sent out his disciples, they heard from his own mouth where he wanted them to go and what he wanted them to say. After Jesus ascended into heaven, he sent special gifts from the Spirit to tell those disciples where he wanted them to go and what he wanted them to say.

In today’s reading from the book of Acts, Jesus made it clear where he wanted Paul and his companions to go. But they already knew what to say. God had called them to preach the gospel to people.

The gospel is the good news that Jesus lived a perfect life in our place and then died to take the punishment for our sins. The gospel is the good news that we have forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus. God called Paul to preach the gospel.

And God still calls people to preach that gospel today. He does not use visions from the Spirit. Instead, God calls people through the Church, through people who have come to believe in Jesus through the gospel.

And there are still people asking preachers to teachers to “come over and help us.” All around the world, from Tennessee to Tibet, people are asking to be reassured of their forgiveness through faith in Jesus. How good it is to know God still answers those prayers by sending his representatives to proclaim the good news of sins forgiven!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, send your messengers wherever the good news needs to be proclaimed. 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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Getting Rid of Stains – June 3, 2022

[Jesus said] “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:14

Getting Rid of Stains

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Daily Devotion – June 3, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 22:14

See series: Devotions

My mom did so much for me as I grew up, and I will be forever grateful. Of all the things she did for me, there is one task that I am sure was no fun: washing my high school football practice jerseys and pants. First, there are few odors worse than a football locker room. Second, they were regularly covered in all kinds of stains: grass, mud, sweat. Mom did everything she could. She would lovingly scrub and scrub and do her best, but not even mom could remove some of those stains.

Life can feel like that sometimes. Our daily lives have a way of staining us as well. There are things in the past that we have said and done. Things that have left some deep stains: guilt and hurt and remorse. And like mom with the bleach, we try our best to get rid of those stains. We try to forget and block them out of our minds. We try hard to do better and be good. We try to make it up in some way. We do everything we can, but we can’t scrub them clean. Certainly, such stained people like us can’t make it into God’s heaven.

Thankfully, there was One who could and did scrub us clean of all sin. He didn’t use detergent or bleach. Rather, he used his very blood—blood he shed on the cross for you and me. Blood that was pure and holy and able to wash every single one of our sinful stains away. Because of Jesus, we now are pure, holy, and righteous in Gods sight. Our robes have been washed and we now have the right to the tree of life and to go through the gate into heaven.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for giving your life in my place and washing me clean in your precious blood. Lead me today and every day to thank you for your grace and look forward to the day when I will walk through those gates and see you face to 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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Constants in Your Life – June 2, 2022

[Jesus said] “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
Revelation 22:13

Constants in Your Life

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Daily Devotion – June 2, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 22:13

See series: Devotions

Do you have any constants in your life? Is there anything in your life that is completely dependable and never lets you down? The reality is that our lives are in constant flux. Our jobs can change in a moment, even after many years of faithful service. Our significant other can just up and leave even after months or years of a relationship. Friends can betray us in real life or unfriend us on social media. A spouse or family member can let us down from time to time. Even the people who love us are not always there for us in the way we need them to be. Life in this world can often feel like we are adrift at sea, without anyone or anything that is truly and completely dependable.

That’s where Jesus is different. He says to you, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” With these comforting words, Jesus reminds us that he is eternal. He never changes. He has always been there for us and will always be there. His promises are dependable. Jesus does not change.

That sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Maybe you have even been aware that God is with you at times. But then there are times when everything goes from bad to worse, and you wonder if, in fact, God is real or if he’s even paying attention to you. Make no mistake: Jesus has never left you and never will. He is the Alpha and Omega. You can depend on him. And just to prove how faithful he is to you, he willingly died on that cross to make sure that sin could not separate you from him. Then, he kept his promise, and he rose from the dead to make sure that death could not separate you from him.

Do you have any constants in your life? You only need one. And his name is Jesus.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for being the one constant in my life. Teach me to depend on you each day and to trust your promises. Never leave me, Lord. 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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My Reward – June 1, 2022

[Jesus said] “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.”
Revelation 22:12

My Reward

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Daily Devotion – June 1, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 22:12

See series: Devotions

If you knew Jesus was coming back to earth tomorrow, what would you do? If you were aware that tomorrow was judgment day and Jesus was coming back to bring this world to an end, how would you choose to live life today? Some, likely, would live it up and make poor decisions in a last-ditch effort to have some worldly fun. Others, perhaps, would try to clean up their lives a lot to make a good impression for Jesus. Maybe they would rush around doing as many kind things as they could to pile up a few points before Jesus makes his judgment.

Either approach would be terrifying. Either way, we would know that we are not worthy of our Savior, Jesus. He tells us in this verse that on that day, he will bring his reward and give to everyone according to what he has done. No matter how many good deeds we could pile up in a day, we would never be able to make ourselves worthy enough for heaven—there are just too many sins already piled up in our lives.

No, we cannot earn our heavenly reward from Jesus; but it is ours just the same. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection we have eternal life. Jesus lived a perfect life in our place. He died to pay for all our sins. He rose from the dead so that death would no longer have control over us. As we trust in our Savior, Jesus and his work on our behalf, Jesus blesses us with the reward of faith. Through faith in Jesus our reward is secure.

So if Jesus does come back tomorrow, the next day, or many days from now, our reward is secure because of him. And when he does come back, we will receive the reward of heaven. It will be the first day of the rest of our eternal lives in heaven. Amen! Come Lord Jesus!

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for securing my heavenly reward. Help me to trust in you as my Savior from sin, and to look forward to the day of your return. 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 Ultimate Goal – May 31, 2022

[Jesus said] “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
John 17:24

The Ultimate Goal

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Daily Devotion – May 31, 2022

Devotion based on John 17:24

See series: Devotions

What are your life goals? What aspirations do you have? Where do you see yourself in five, ten, or twenty years? Maybe you have your sights set on a dream job at a certain company or in a certain part of the country. Perhaps you have an amazing retirement mapped out in your mind. Or it could be that you have the dream of being financially independent and traveling the world. Whatever dream you may have, it will only be achieved through action. We are encouraged to chase our dreams and work towards our goals.

Whatever dreams you have, be assured that Jesus has already set loftier goals for you. Jesus prayed to his Father in heaven and had a clear goal in mind for you: he wants you in heaven with him forever. To achieve that lofty goal, it was not as simple as applying to the right colleges or selecting the right mix of investments in his 401(k). No, to achieve his heavenly goals for all of us, Jesus elected to suffer and die on the cross to pay the bill that our sins had racked up. Then, to guarantee our victory over death and the grave, Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. His resurrection guarantees that we too will rise to live forever in heaven. Now through faith, he invites us to put our trust in him so that we can receive the blessings of faith, forgiveness, and eternal life.

Christ has achieved the ultimate goal for us. As you chase your dreams here on earth, always keep an eye on the heavenly home that Jesus has waiting for you. Rest assured that no matter what happens here, the loftiest goal possible has already been achieved for you.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to win my salvation. Help me to keep my eyes on my heavenly home and bless me as I set goals for my time here. Help me to always glorify 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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Complete Unity – May 30, 2022

[Jesus said] “I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:23

Complete Unity

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Daily Devotion – May 30, 2022

Devotion based on John 17:23

See series: Devotions

Complete unity. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Can you even imagine it? Our world struggles to attain even partial unity. Russia invades Ukraine. Democrats and Republicans constantly argue and accuse each other. Different church bodies and religions teach different things about how we get to heaven. Even the voices calling for unity these days only want unity if that means everyone agrees with their view of the world.

Clearly, the world does not enjoy complete unity, but we are no better at achieving it in our own lives. We can’t even find it in our own families, as we disagree about everything from sports teams to medical decisions. Complete unity? Again, it sounds nice, but it is not reality.

Did you know that Jesus prayed for his people to have unity? Jesus wanted his followers to have complete unity—a perfect unity. A unity of faith, purpose, and love that would last. Such a unity would bring great blessing, but it would prove costly. Jesus was willing to pay the cost for us all. He gave his life on the cross to pay for our sins of disunity. He gave his life in our place so that we could all have God’s forgiveness and salvation. Through his death, Jesus has united us as God’s children. He has brought us into God’s family. Now, through faith in Jesus, we are one. We are on the same team. We are united in the love of Jesus and his call to live as his children.

Can you imagine a place where there is no disagreement? No war or factions or opposing political parties? A place with no shouting, arguing, or violent opposition? There is such a place, and we have been invited there through faith in our Savior, Jesus. Through faith in him, we will enjoy complete unity in heaven forever. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Prayer:
Dear heavenly Father, through the life and death of your son Jesus, you have brought us unity. Keep us in faith and bring us to our heavenly home. 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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Help Others – May 29, 2022

During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
Acts 16:9

Help Others

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Daily Devotion – May 29, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 16:9

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How long will eternity last? Seriously stop and think about that question.

When you think about it, it’s mind-boggling. The hymn Amazing Grace reads, “When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we’d first begun.” And that’s true! Eternity will go on and on and on and on and, well, you get the picture.

Of course, for those who are believers in Jesus, that’s an awesome thing! They will enjoy God’s love and praise him forever.

But for those who do not know Jesus as their Savior, it will be awful. They will be separated, forever, from God and his love.

So, can we understand the plea from the Macedonian man? What did the people in that area need? More than anything else, they needed to know about Jesus and his forgiving love. More than anything else, they needed to know that God loved them. More than anything else, they needed to know that heaven was open for them because Jesus had died and risen.

These are the things we need more than anything else as well. Thankfully, we have them because they are all promised by God in his Word.

Thank God today that you have heard about what Jesus has done for you and what he promises you–an eternity of joy with him in heaven.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for doing everything necessary for me to spend my eternity with 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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Turn From Worthless Things – May 28, 2022

We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.
Acts 14:15

Turn From Worthless Things

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Daily Devotion – May 28, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 14:15

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Whenever a person moves from one home to another, questions abound. What will the next place be like? What will the new neighbors be like? Then there is the most pressing question: What do I take with me? How does one sift through years of memories and memorabilia? How does one determine what is worthless and disposable? It is not an easy question to answer. But it is an important question to answer when a person is moving.

It is even more important for every person to ask this question regarding their spiritual life. When the apostle Paul visited the ancient city of Lystra, he explained to the people there that the false gods they worshiped were worthless. “Turn from worthless things to the living God,” he told them.

Nearly two thousand years later, Paul’s message still applies. If he would look at us, he would say the same thing: Turn from worthless things. Although difficult to accept and, even more difficult to undertake, it is exactly what we must do.

Because, like the people in Lystra, we often worship what is worthless. We spend far too much of our time and effort chasing things that are not worthy, things that will not last. Nothing this world offers can match the lasting value of knowing Jesus and what he has done for us. His precious life was lived to offer us perfect obedience. His priceless death was given to release us from judgment. His incomparable resurrection now provides eternal blessing in heaven.

Recognizing what Jesus gives us makes us realize it is time to clean house, to turn from worthless things to the priceless blessings of the living God and our precious Savior.

Prayer:
O gracious Lord and Savior, how can I thank you for your gifts of priceless worth! Turn my heart to that which has lasting value, and strengthen me to turn away from things that have no worth. 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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Joy Victorious Over Hardship – May 27, 2022

[Paul and Barnabas] preached the gospel in [the city of Derbe] and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
Acts 14:21,22

Joy Victorious Over Hardship

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Daily Devotion – May 27, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 14:21,22

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Paul and Barnabas wanted to strengthen and encourage the faith of the young disciples they had previously met. So they told them that “we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”

At first glance, those words don’t seem to be that encouraging. They seem to be predicting that life will be harder for them than they would like. In fact, they seem to be promising that this will be the case—that there is no other way to live as a follower of Jesus. “We must go through many hardships,” they said. Certainly, the thought of hardships is not at all encouraging.

But thinking of the kingdom of God is.

The kingdom of God is perfect beyond what we can imagine. It is perfect harmony with God and with one another. It is an existence entirely without sin and its ability to corrupt every part of our lives—one without any guilt, sadness, or pain.

And it is already yours by all that Jesus already accomplished on your behalf as your Savior.

No hardship on earth can take it away from you. “Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,” Paul would write in the book of Romans, “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38,39).

Expect hardship on earth. Also, expect one day to be entirely free from it in the kingdom of God.

Prayer:
Gracious Savior, may your victory on my behalf over sin, death, and Satan always be my heart’s greatest treasure. 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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Joy Victorious Over Grief – May 26, 2022

[Jesus said] “Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”
John 16:20

Joy Victorious Over Grief

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Daily Devotion – May 26, 2022

Devotion based on John 16:20

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“You will grieve,” Jesus promised, “but your grief will turn to joy.”

Notice what he didn’t say. He didn’t say, “Your grief will be replaced by joy,” or “Your grief will be destroyed by joy,” or “Your grief will be swallowed up by joy.” He said, “Your grief will turn to joy.” In other words, the same thing that causes your grief will produce your joy. That might sound a bit strange. But this is what Easter is.

Easter turns a sad, seemingly hopeless situation into joy. It turns the ugly cross from which the disciples ran away into the focal point of the beautiful gospel they went into the world to proclaim. It turns the grave we spend so much effort to avoid into the red carpet leading us into the perfection of heaven. It turns Satan’s greatest win into ours. It turns the sad tears we cry when someone we love dies into tears of joy over their new and eternal paradise. It even turns those who are undeniably weak in so many ways into a source of seemingly impossible strength.

Nothing is impossible for our God. Nothing gets the best of him. Not one of his enemies will ever be able to boast that they were more powerful than him. Indeed, as the Bible says, “all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).

Even those things that cause our grief.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, keep me firmly rooted in my eternal victory won by you so that I live with an ongoing expectation of the joy you have promised. 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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Joy Victorious Over Feelings – May 25, 2022

[Jesus said] “Now is the time of your grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”
John 16:22

Joy Victorious Over Feelings

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Daily Devotion – May 25, 2022

Devotion based on John 16:22

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Consider how many people in the Bible lost their joy between the Thursday when Jesus spoke these words and the following Sunday morning, the day of Jesus’ resurrection.

Think of Peter after the rooster crowed, running outside, and weeping bitterly over his sin. Think of Mary Magdalene on Easter morning, soaking Jesus’ tomb with her tears, blinded by so much sorrow that she didn’t even recognize Jesus when he was standing right next to her in the garden. Think of the other disciples, too scared or ashamed to stay with Jesus; too afraid of Jesus’ enemies to do anything but lock themselves away in a room and hope that no one would find them.

As you read through these moments of personal grief and pain, do you ever wonder why the Bible includes all of them? Do you ever wonder why God wanted us to know about these different people in their lowest moments?

There is one likely explanation.

God includes all these stories of personal pain because he wants you to be able to find yourself in his Word. He knew there would be times when you would feel like Peter, very guilty about something. Or like Mary when your heart is breaking because you lost someone you loved. He knew there would be times you would be paralyzed by fear or overwhelmed by guilt. God knew.

And he wanted you to know that, despite those powerful and painful feelings, “no one will take away your joy.” The joy of Jesus’ disciples did not at all depend on how well they reacted to Jesus’ suffering and death. It depended entirely on the fact that Jesus earned complete forgiveness for them by his death and on the certainty of his resurrection—just as it does for you.

No one will take away your joy: for Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, guide my emotions by the certainty of your completed work 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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Joy Victorious Over Waiting – May 24, 2022

Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
John 16:16

Joy Victorious Over Waiting

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Daily Devotion – May 24, 2022

Devotion based on John 16:16

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Jesus wanted his disciples to know that he would soon be gone from their sight, and he knew this wouldn’t be easy for them. Jesus knew that most of them wouldn’t see him after they abandoned him in the garden. He knew that most of them would be too scared or sad to even show up at his crucifixion. He knew their hearts would be crushed with grief and guilt when they would see his dead body taken down from the cross and buried.

But he also knew that just three days after this conversation, he was going to be standing in front of them, fully alive after he had died as their Savior, and fully victorious over sin, death, and Satan. He knew exactly how long their “little while” would be—just as he knows yours.

He knows how long you’ll be sick. He knows how long you’ll suffer. He knows how long you’ll grieve. He knows how long your heart will ache. He knows how long before you finally get to heaven to see your loved ones again. He knows that it will be just “a little while.”

It’s hard to suffer, grieve, and carry guilt for even “a little while.” But, as it happened for Jesus’ first disciples, all our “little whiles” have an expiration date. After “a little while,” our eyes will also see the Jesus, whose innocent death and resurrection prepared our place in God’s family. And then, as Scripture says, “we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17), and there will no longer be any “little whiles.”

Prayer:
Gracious Savior, keep my faith firmly focused on your work as my Savior until the day you return to take me home. 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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Joy Victorious Over Circumstance – May 23, 2022

[Jesus said] “Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”
John 16:20-22

Joy Victorious Over Circumstance

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Daily Devotion – May 23, 2022

Devotion based on John 16:20-22

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Jesus statement that “a woman giving birth to a child has pain” needs no explanation for those who have given birth to a child. Childbirth is painful. His statement that “when her baby is born, she forgets the anguish” also needs no explanation for any new mother who has cradled her newborn in her arms for the very first time. It’s not that the labor pain didn’t happen. It’s not that the new mother’s body has healed in any way by the time the new child is delivered. Rather, the joy of holding her new child is so great it overwhelms all the immense pain.

Jesus promised the same type of experience for his disciples. “You will grieve,” he said, as he alluded to the grief that would consume them as they would soon witness Jesus’ arrest, suffering, crucifixion, and death. They would grieve in other ways as well, just as we do, living with sinful hearts in a sinful world that regularly rebels against God’s Word.

But though the circumstances of our lives in this world cause real grief, the victory of Jesus on our behalf is great enough to overwhelm it. One day, that will happen in eternity as God “will wipe every tear from [our] eyes” (Revelation 21:4). And, just as the woman in labor finds strength to endure her labor pains in the knowledge that her joy is coming, so also Christians find daily strength to endure our grief knowing our victory is coming; for Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins is completed and his victory over death is already won.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, by your death and resurrection, give me daily strength to endure the hard circumstances of earthly life in anticipation of my final victory that is already won. 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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Enduring Temple – May 22, 2022

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
Revelation 21:22

Enduring Temple

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Daily Devotion – May 22, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 21:22

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Perhaps the most famous church building in all of England is St Paul’s Cathedral in London. It’s famous for many reasons. For one, it has dominated the London skyline since before the birth of the United States. For another, it’s been the site for numerous historic events, from royal weddings to state funerals.

Its greatest fame, however, may have come from World War II. If you go online and search the words “photo—St Paul’s—WWII,” you’ll see why. You’ll see a picture of London just after a severe German bombing raid. Every building in the picture is a smoking ruin of rubble—every building except St Paul’s. That picture rallied the spirits of the British people throughout the rest of the war.

In our society of the twenty-first century, it often feels as if we Christians are simply enduring one long bombing raid. Everything we believe seems to be under attack. Everything we hold dear seems to be a target.

But take a closer look at the picture. Yes, Christianity is under attack, as it has always been. And yes, the forces of Satan and sin have turned much of our society into a smoking ruin of rubble. But above the dust and debris of a fallen world, there still stands the enduring temple of our God. It endures because that temple is the Lamb of God himself.

In that temple you will find shelter and forgiveness. In that temple you will find refreshment and life and light. For that enduring temple is your Savior, who died and rose and lives for you.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, in the smoking rubble of this fallen world, you remain. You endure. Your promises never fail. Move me by your Spirit to find my refuge 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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Limitless Love – May 21, 2022

“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:34

Limitless Love

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Daily Devotion – May 21, 2022

Devotion based on John 13:34

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The thing about love is that it almost always has limits.

You might love someone or something, but there is probably a limit to that love. You may love a certain food, but you will only pay so much for it. Perhaps you love a certain sports team, but after so many losing seasons, you may just give up. Even in a marriage, a lifelong love, we say our vows with, “Till death do us part.”

Even though almost every love we know has its bounds, we still crave truly limitless and unconditional love—a love without any end.

God filled our desire for limitless love by sending Jesus to win eternal life for us. God didn’t set a limit or an end to his love. With his limitless love, Jesus came to live and die for us to take away our sins and to win for us a place before God forever. This love will never end.

When God commands us to love one another as he has loved us, he gives us no small task. He says to love with the love that he has shown to us.

How can we do that? We can do the kinds of things that will make sure even death will not limit our love. If you want to love your spouse, pray for and encourage their faith. If you want to love your child, make sure that they grow up in a place where their faith can be nurtured. If you want to love your neighbor, do the kinds of things that allow you to share with them the hope you have in Jesus. Helping those you love to be in the Word of Christ and to follow his commands is one of the greatest expressions of love because it is the only thing that is truly limitless.

God loves you in an ultimate way by winning eternity for you. Go and love people by sharing that message with them.

Prayer:
Father, thank you for loving us so much that you sent Jesus. Help us to love with the limitless love you have shown to us. 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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Love Is the Greatest – May 20, 2022

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Love Is the Greatest

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Daily Devotion – May 20, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 13:13

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Faith is terrifically important. Whoever believes in Jesus will be saved, and whoever does not believe in him will be condemned. Faith is your connection to the promises of God, the conduit through which you receive forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.

Hope is terrifically important. Hope helps you through the darkest days of your life. If you have hope that things will get better, you wait patiently when things are difficult. One definition of hell is living without any hope of hope.

So how can love be even greater than faith and hope? Maybe it’s because faith and hope are looking forward to things that will be accomplished. Someday hope will not be necessary because you will have what you are hoping for. Someday faith will be fulfilled.

But the love of God will continue through eternity. The same love for the whole world that caused Jesus to live, die, and rise from the dead for you, will continue to surround you for all eternity. As time marches on into timelessness, God’s selfless love marches victoriously in an endless parade.

Believe it. Hope for it. And express your love for the people around you and for God himself as you bask in his perfect love.

Prayer:
I pray to you, Lord, in the time of your favor. In your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation. 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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Full Knowledge – May 19, 2022

For now we see a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12

Full Knowledge

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Daily Devotion – May 19, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 13:12

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I always wondered why my parents were so strict about bedtimes. It didn’t seem to me like a minute or two should make a big difference, but if I went to bed on time, my parents were happy, and if I dawdled, they were unhappy.

Now that I am an adult, I realize how much healthier kids are when they have a reliable structure in their lives. I realize that my parents loved me and were willing to enforce some structure because they knew how good it was for me.

And now that I am an adult, I wonder why God allows some things to happen in my life and the lives of the people I love. I know that God loves me, and I try to figure out his purposes, but I realize it’s always like looking into a bathroom mirror covered by steam. I can’t completely see the whole picture.

But that’s ok. I don’t need to see the whole picture. I know God sees it. And I know I don’t have to fear because through faith in Jesus, I have his forgiveness and righteousness. And because I have his forgiveness and righteousness, I will see him in heaven one day. There, I will have a much clearer picture of things. I will know everything I need to know to be perfectly at peace. Won’t it be wonderful?

Prayer:
Lord God, Heavenly Father, give me confidence in your love and protection in my life and the lives of my loved ones. 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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What Is Permanent – May 18, 2022

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
1 Corinthians 13:8-11

What Is Permanent

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Daily Devotion – May 18, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 13:8-11

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Some things are built to be temporary. When you put up a tent, you don’t expect it to be a permanent shelter. When you build a sandcastle on the beach, you know that the waves from the rising tides will eventually wash it away.

Like tents and sandcastles, the apostle Paul points out in our Bible reading today that the prophecies spoken by the early Christians were meant to be temporary. Eventually, they were fulfilled. The practice of speaking in tongues was also meant to be temporary. After Christians had the whole New Testament, the gift of speaking in other languages was no longer necessary for the quick transmission of the message about Jesus.

Unfortunately, some early Christians put too much stock in prophesies and speaking in tongues. They became proud of these special spiritual gifts. So, the apostle Paul needed to knock them off their spiritual high horse by reminding them that these gifts, while given by God, were not the most important gift from God. Rather than boast about these gifts and look down on others, they were to look on others with love.

God’s love for you as his child is permanent. It will never be washed away. It is built to transcend even death. Because Jesus rose from the dead, his love goes on forever, and nothing can stop it. It is complete. It never fails. When there is nothing else to hold on to, the love of Jesus is solid, secure, and stable.

Prayer:
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your remarkable and steadfast 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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God Is Love – May 17, 2022

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

God Is Love

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Daily Devotion – May 17, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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Have you ever heard a pastor read these words at a wedding? Couples often choose this text for their marriage ceremony as a beautiful description of the love they are celebrating by saying their vows to one another. It is moving to think about the power of selfless love.

Read the text again, but this time, substitute your name for the words “love” and “it.” For example, “Jim is patient, Jim is kind. Jim does not envy, etc.” When you get to the word “always,” slow down a little, and realize that it’s not true. You don’t always protect, trust, hope, or persevere. Regardless of the strength of your love, you have moments when your selfishness overcomes your love.

But now, read the text once more. This time, put Jesus’ name in the place where you had put your name. Now the words ring true. Jesus was patient and kind. He kept no record of wrongs. He always protected. He always persevered. Jesus did all these things perfectly, not simply to serve as an example for us but to serve as a substitute for us. Through Jesus, God sees Jesus’ disciples as perfectly loving. Through Jesus, we sinners are saved.

When you are angry because other people do not love you the way they promised, remember the love of Jesus, and forgive them. When you are disappointed in yourself because you realize that you are self-seeking, remember the love of Jesus, and relax in his forgiveness and faithfulness.

Prayer:
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your kindness. Lead me always to trust you for forgiveness and 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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Why God Gives Gifts – May 16, 2022

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Why God Gives Gifts

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Daily Devotion – May 16, 2022

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

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You may have some amazing personal gifts. You may be able to speak more than one language fluently. You may be able to understand things that mystify other people. You may have confidence where others cower in fear. You may be willing and able to endure hardships that cause other people to wither. Even if it’s none of those things, you know what your special gifts are.

Have you ever wondered why God has given you those gifts? It might surprise you that the reason is not so that you can feel better about yourself. In fact, pride in and boasting about your gifts goes against God’s purposes. Your gifts aren’t about you. They are about those around you. God wants you to use your gifts to help the people around you.

That’s precisely what Jesus did. Jesus had more spiritual gifts than anyone, ever. But he didn’t boast about it. Instead, he used those gifts to serve us. He used those gifts to save us. That’s love.

And that is precisely how God wants you to use the gifts he has given you—to serve the people he has brought into your life. Then, like Jesus, your gifts will give glory to God and be a blessing to others.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for loving and forgiving me. Lead me to use all my gifts in loving service 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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Love One Another – May 15, 2022

[Jesus said] “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:33-35

Love One Another

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Daily Devotion – May 15, 2022

Devotion based on John 13:33-35

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“Clean up the kitchen after you eat. Feed the dog and let it out. Make sure to finish your homework and get to bed by 9 o’clock.” Similar instructions are given to responsible children in countless households by parents who are about to leave them home alone for an evening.

Jesus gave his disciples some instructions when he knew that he would be leaving them soon. His instructions were simple: “Love one another.” By dealing with one another in love, not only would the followers of Jesus be obeying his command, they would also be making it clear to others exactly who they are—disciples of Jesus.

What is this love that we are to have for one another? Jesus tells us that it is to be the same kind of love he has for us. His love caused him to go to the cross and give up his life for us so that we don’t have to be punished for our sins. His love focused on our greatest need and was willing to do whatever it took to meet it, even if that meant he would have to suffer tremendous pain and even die.

Because of his love for us and what that love caused him to do, we know that our sins have been forgiven and our relationship with God restored. Such wonderful news motivates us to want to live for Jesus, and he tells us how to do so: “Love one another.”

By lifting our eyes off ourselves to see others and their needs and then working to meet those needs, even if it means personal sacrifice, we obey our Savior’s command to love one another. When we do, other people will notice that there is something different about us. They will recognize that we are disciples of Jesus.

Prayer:
Jesus, my Savior, thank you for loving me enough to make the ultimate sacrifice for my sins. Help me to show that same sacrificial love to others that it may be evident to them that I follow and obey 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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No Riddles – May 14, 2022

The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
John 10:24-30

No Riddles

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Daily Devotion – May 14, 2022

Devotion based on John 10:24-30

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Riddles can be used to strengthen the way you think. They can also be aggravating if you don’t have the answer. Many people who listened to Jesus saw him as a riddle. They couldn’t figure out if he was the Christ or not. So finally, they came up to ask him. ‘If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” No more mystery, no more cloak and dagger. They wanted a straight answer.

Jesus gave them a straight answer. “I did tell you.” He did perform miracles in their presence. He did reveal who he was as he taught the crowds who followed him. The problem is that they rejected the miracles and the words Jesus spoke to them. They did not believe Jesus as he proclaimed he was the Son of God.

Do not become like those people who gathered around Jesus. Do not think that Jesus doesn’t give a clear answer about who he is or what he came to do. There is no riddle. Jesus also speaks plainly to you. He is God; he stated, “I and the Father are one.” He came to save you from your sins; he came to give you eternal life. Jesus doesn’t speak in riddles about who he is or what he came to do. He speaks plainly to you, his sheep, so that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).

Listen to the clear words of Jesus and hold on to them in faith. Look with hope to the eternal life he brings.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I give thanks that you have given me life through your Son, Jesus. Continue to preserve my faith until I am 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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Encouragement – May 13, 2022

“These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.”
Revelation 7:14,15

Encouragement

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Daily Devotion – May 13, 2022

Devotion based on Revelation 7:14,15

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The Christians to whom the apostle John wrote the book of Revelation needed encouragement. They lived at a time when the Roman government was severely persecuting them. Being a Christian was illegal. If you were discovered to be a Christian and refused to renounce your faith in Jesus, you could be killed.

To these Christians, it may have seemed as if Jesus had abandoned them. He had promised always to be with them, care for them, and protect them. But their friends and even family members were being killed. Their own lives were constantly in danger. Where was Jesus when his people so desperately needed him?

Jesus gave John a vision that gave these Christians the encouragement they needed. He showed John a huge crowd of people, all dressed in white and waving palm branches. He was told that these were those “who have come out of the great tribulation.” In other words, these were all God’s people who had died but now were with Jesus in heaven. It may have seemed Rome had won, and they had lost. But in reality, the Christians were the victors because they were with Jesus. Jesus blood, shed for them on the cross, had washed them and made them clean. And Jesus would keep with close to him forever. Nothing would ever separate them from him.

We may not face the same type of physical persecution that those early Christians did. But we still need the same encouragement. If ever we wonder whether Jesus is keeping his promise to us and protecting us, we can look at that same crowd of people that John saw. There we see all of God’s people who have been washed clean in Jesus’ blood. There we see where we will one day be as well. A time is coming soon when we will stand in the shelter of Jesus’ presence. And we will be with him forever.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, hold me tightly until you take me to be with you forever. 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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