ECME Devotions

To Him Be the Glory – Week of July 24, 2017

To Him Be the Glory – Week of July 24, 2017


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

Ephesians 3:20-21



One of the tests to detect false doctrine is whether a teaching gives maximum glory to Christ or not. It’s not the only test but it is a pretty accurate one. If a teaching puts the burden of salvation on man instead of Christ, it diminishes Christ. It is as if to say, “Thanks Jesus for dying on the cross. That was nice, but I got it from here.” Not only is it wrong, but it takes away from Christ’s true glory, that is, his love and mercy at the cross for us sinners.

We may not fall into the outright false teaching of work-righteousness (that we make ourselves right/righteous by our own efforts) but we do diminish Christ when we show a lack of trust. Earlier this month we talked about anxiety. We made the point that worry often comes because we care and isn’t necessarily a sinful lack of trust in God. At the same time it can be just that, a sinful distrust of God.

Paul said that Christ can do so much more than what we ask for or even can imagine. Do we not rob him of his majesty by not putting before him our greatest problems and our most needed requests? He can do so much more (and does so much more) than we even understand. Can he not also take care of our problems today? I know that sometimes we think that our requests and problems are better kept to ourselves as if we shouldn’t bother our Lord but he wants to hear them. Remember he can do more than we can imagine. Sure, the answer might often be “No” but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t persistently come to him with our deepest concerns. He loves us. He wants to hear us and he can do more than we think.



Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, remove all fake humility from our hearts and bend our knees before you so that we are free to ask you, our dear Father, anything that troubles our hearts.

A Question to Consider: What does Matthew 25:34-40 tell us about how we serve Christ and give him glory?



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



To Him Be the Glory – Week of July 17, 2017

To Him Be the Glory – Week of July 17, 2017


For I am convinced that 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, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord

Romans 8:38-39



Confidence is important. The smartest girl in the class can fall apart when asked to stand in front of a room and speak. The best shooter on the team can freeze at the free throw line. Confidence is important. Of course there is a fine line between confidence and conceit. As Christians we boast in the Lord. It’s not our glory but his. Yet his glory is not what we think glory might look like. His glory is found at the cross first and foremost. This is where we see love like nowhere else. But it is also found in our love of others, another cross. Notice that we give God glory not only with our praises but also, and I would say primarily, in our love of neighbor.

So our confidence is not really in our public speaking ability or shooting skills but in our Lord. This faith in him is translated to love in our lives. We are confident that he has saved us from sin, hell, death, and the devil. We are confident that he will take care of us in the future. We are confident that he will use us for good. We are confident. So much so that we can be bold in our confession to the world and bold in our defiance towards the devil and the death he wants for us. And the confidence is great. You can hear the confidence grow in the words of Paul:

For I am convinced that 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, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

These can be our words too. Bring it on world! We know where we are going. We know who is on our side. We know the truth. Bring it on. We have the Lord on our side. We boast in the Lord.



Prayer: Dear Holy Spirit, guide us in faith and give us true confidence in our Lord.

A Question to Consider: Self-esteem is a big deal but the source of that self-esteem is the key to it all. Do we “give everyone a trophy” to build students up artificially or do we teach them their value in Christ?



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



To Him Be the Glory – Week of July 10, 2017

To Him Be the Glory – Week of July 10, 2017


Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7



Grandma worries. She worries a lot. It’s not depression. She just has a lot of time on her hands and so she thinks and thinks and thinks. Some days she gets herself worked up beyond belief about the tiniest of matters. Does she sin by worrying so much? Shouldn’t she just trust God? I suppose so. But I know that she worries because she loves. If she didn’t care about her children, her grandchildren, her world, she wouldn’t worry so much.

Such is the life of a Christian. We go back and forth between worry and trust. We can’t help it. It’s a part of being a caring person. It’s a part of being a person who is cared for. St. Peter in this verse does not say that worry is wrong. It certainly can be, but here he doesn’t criticize us anxious souls. Rather he says throw those worries on Christ. Notice that he does not try to fix the problem by changing our attitudes. He does not say, “Here is a program for you to become less anxious. Step one…” No, he says throw it on Christ, the one who will take care of it all and in fact, already has. Don’t waste any time convincing yourself that you don’t need to worry, rather just throw the worry on Christ. That’s how it works. That’s how your faith responds.

Just consider what Christ has done for you. He lived in your place. He died an embarrassing and painful death. He rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven. He rules all things at the right hand of the Father for your benefit. He has prepared a place in heaven just for you and he promised to come to get you and take you to heaven. Considering what he has already done for you and how much he has invested in you, do you really think that he could forget you? Never! Do you really think that he will not also take care of the little things? Of course he will. Cast, then, all your anxieties on him.



Prayer: Dear Jesus Christ, we look to you and realize all is done. By faith we need not ask what needs to be done but look to you and see it already done. Help us cast all our anxieties on you. Amen.



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



To Him Be the Glory – Week of July 3, 2017

To Him Be the Glory – Week of July 3, 2017


O Lord of nations, hear our prayer.
We thank you for this land most fair,
Created by your might.
For mountain sunset, lake at dawn,
For woodland bloom and robin song,
For stars that lace the night,

Most grateful, gracious God, are we
That in this country we are free
To worship you above.
We gather here to speak your name,
Then leave this place to spread your fame
That all may know your love.

Christian Worship Supplement 785:1,3



It has been said that the Grand Canyon is one of the few places where reality surpasses the hype. A child on family vacation may yawn at the ocean – “I have seen this on TV” – but no picture of the Grand Canyon can do it justice. The gaping chasm echoes the glory of our creator God as does the smallest insect. But neither can tell of the love of God. In fact nature is as much about wickedness as it is about beauty. The Rocky Mountains are magnificent but its winter storms kill without mercy. The oceans are wondrous unless you are caught in an undertow. If we only have nature to tell us about God, then we must be honest, nature kills indiscriminately. Nature is a beautiful siren that lures us in but can turn on us in a moment.

So God gives us more. He gives us his Son. He gives us his Word. And in his Son and in his Word he is hidden. Mere ink and paper, the gentle voice of a preschool teacher or the stumbling voice of a preacher cannot compare to the Sequoia trees of California. And the bloody scene of the cross is the opposite of the beauty of a field of wild flowers on the American Plains that seems to go on for miles. Yet this is how he comes to us. He hides. He hides to be close to you. He hides to be revealed. There beneath the blood and the dirt, beside the insults and the injustice, there on the cross is the glory of God. That he would love you and I that much. And that forgiving love gives us the peace and freedom to live a life of love and to enjoy his beautiful creation without fear.



Prayer: Dear Creator God, move us to see your glory in this beautiful creation of yours. Help us protect it, preserve it, and enjoy it. Yet push us to the cross where we see your true glory on display, the mercy of Christ. Amen.

A Question to Consider: If the natural law of God (the order of creation) cannot be the full story but must be coupled with his grace of the cross, how does this change the way we should educate little ones?



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Not Done Growing! – Week of June 26, 2017

Not Done Growing! – Week of June 26, 2017


But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

2 Peter 3:18



The shiny pair of flats had a pretty teal and pink design on them, but they cost $40. My mom would not buy them because, as she said, my feet were “not done growing”. Years later, how happy I was when I was finally able to buy shoes that I wouldn’t grow out of!

Are you “done growing”? What about your spiritual growth? You know that Jesus died for you, and that we are saved from our sins through his coming back to life. You read the Bible stories with the children, and you know that you will be with him in heaven one day. So, are you done growing?

God tells us to keep growing! The end of the world, judgement day, should always be in our minds. One way that Satan can ruin our relationship with God is to make us believe that we don’t need to be close to God and his Word. Satan wants to separate us from God by separating us from his Word. This can happen even to you, even as you are daily surrounded by children that sing his praises. This can happen to you, even as you daily teach Bible truths in a Christ-centered environment.

Keep growing! Study his Word, attend church services, surround yourself with friends that also live for him. Grow in his grace, knowing that you are saved because of it! Grow in the knowledge of Jesus, all he has done for us in the past and promises to do for us in the future.



Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for giving us all that we need to know in your Word, the Bible. Help us continue to grow in you through faith in Christ Jesus. Amen.

A Question to Consider: Think of the opportunities in your life that will help you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord. Is there a Bible Study you can join? Can you start a Bible reading routine? Is there someone on your staff or in your church that can help you get started?



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands – Week of June 19, 2017

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands – Week of June 19, 2017


As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.

Genesis 8:22



It was dark around the clock; the sun had not been seen for over a month. There was no escape from the smell of manure, and the cramped conditions made it hard to sleep. This is how I imagine it was for Noah as the forty days of rain were coming to an end. Noah, a believer in God and his promises, had faithfully loaded the animals and his family onto an ark, where they would remain for several months while the earth was destroyed. Perhaps the animals were hibernating, but there still must have been some care that was needed during this time, and it couldn’t have smelled good. It was a difficult time to trust, and yet God showed Noah, and us, that he has all the power.

God always keeps his promises. God spoke the words in our reading “in his heart” after the flood. During those rainy days, the entire earth was destroyed, as were the normal patterns of the earth such as the seasons and daylight. God saw that these patterns are needed for our daily well-being, and he promised that we can depend on them “as long as the world endures.”

We are also reminded that the world will end. From other parts of scripture, we know that the earth has an expiration date that has not been revealed to us. But we know that God will be with us, until the end and beyond. God is with us when we work through our daily challenges. He is with us as we rest or play, when we eat and sleep. He promises to fill our needs, although perhaps not in a way that we planned. God filled our most desperate need of all by providing forgiveness and new life through the death and life of Jesus Christ.



Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for keeping the world and everything in it in your hands. Thank you for keeping all your promises, including the promise fulfilled in the gift of your Son, Jesus, who redeemed us from this world of sin. Amen.

A Question to Consider: How do the changing seasons and other earthly patterns give you comfort that God is in control?



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Our Superhero – Week of June 12, 2017

Our Superhero – Week of June 12, 2017


The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31



He asked to be called Spiderman. He wore the same pajama top every day, the one with a spider web in each armpit. When there was anything out of reach, he told the other children, “I’ll get it!” and then pointed his “Spidy” fingers at the object and squinted his eyes as if he were aiming and casting a web on the target. For months, he believed he was Spiderman, with super-human speed, skill, and intelligence.

We often forget who the real superhero is! The words from Isaiah show us four “superhero” characteristics about our God.

First, God created all things. He created the world, all living creatures, everything “to infinity and beyond”.

Second, God does not become tired or weary—he is everlasting! Unlike all that he created, God is always strong, always ready, and always willing to help us.

Third, our God has “understanding no one can fathom”. His wisdom and power is so great, that His creation humbly bows down before him in wonder.

Finally, these words tell us that God gives strength to those who need it. Our creator, the ever-strong, all-powerful, all-knowing, can help us when we feel tired, broken, disappointed, and sad.

When we feel that we just don’t want to get out of bed, he is ready to help us take that step. When we don’t want to confront a co-worker or parent, he gives us the words to say. When we feel defeated by our own sins and failings, he reminds us in his Word that we are forgiven through Jesus.
We sometimes forget that our God, our creator and protector, is in control of all things. He loves us always, not just when things in our life are going well. He knows everything—we do not! We humbly ask God for the strength we need, and he hears us, every time!



Prayer: Dear Father, I praise you for your mighty works, O Lord! You are in control, and I am not. You are all-knowing, and I am not. Help me to look to you for true rest, true comfort, and true peace. Amen.

A Question to Consider: How can you use these thoughts to encourage a co-worker, early childhood program parent, or friend that shows signs of weariness?



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Jesus, Our Window Friend – Week of June 5, 2017

Jesus, Our Window Friend – Week of June 5, 2017


On what has now been sown
Your blessing, Lord, bestow;
The pow’r is yours alone
To make it spring and grow.
O Lord, in grace the harvest raise
And you alone shall have the praise!

Christian Worship 322:1



Have you taken the time to watch an infant or toddler play in a mirror? It is fascinating to watch a young child play with a “window friend” when the child is not yet cognitively aware that he is seeing his own reflection! And if you happen to see the very moment that the child figures out that he is seeing himself in the mirror, you witness a beautiful learning experience.

Whether your early childhood program closes for the summer or you continue the curriculum year-round, this time of year is a time of reflection. We look at the past few months and think about all the blessings God has given and the challenges that he has carried us through.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Fatigue? Have you lost the joy and zeal to do your work well? Do you feel that you have failed to meet a child or parent’s needs?

The hymn of praise we read today reminds us that God blesses our work, despite our failings. It is God’s power, and his alone, that makes the seeds we plant “spring and grow”. God sent his son, Jesus, to rescue us from the sins that we trap ourselves in, the sins that keep us from living as he asks us to live. Because Jesus lived and died for us, God sees Jesus in us. Because Jesus lived and died for us, God sees him when we look in the mirror. Jesus is our “window friend”. To God be the glory!



Prayer: Dear Father, we know that it is only with your help that we carry out your mission to reach all children and families with your Word. Give us time for reflection and rest, knowing that we are saved through your Son, Jesus Christ.  To you be the glory! Amen.

A Question to Consider: Reflect on the past few months of your personal ministry. In what ways have you seen evidence of God at work?



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Our Shield – Week of May 29, 2017

Our Shield – Week of May 29, 2017


O Trinity of love and power, your people shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe, protect them all where’er they go;
Thus evermore to you shall be, glad praise from air and land and sea.

Christian Worship 517:4



I don’t know about you, but usually I think of Memorial Day as a nice break from the regular school routine, or maybe the beginning of summer vacation. It is so much more, however; it is an opportunity to remember the ultimate sacrifice those in the military make for our country. We thank God for those who gave their lives to keep our country safe.

God also protects his people. As Moses and the Israelites found themselves trapped between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army, God shielded his people with a pillar of cloud while making a path through the Red Sea. God was constantly with his people as they fought to overcome the Canaanites and take possession of the Promised Land. God used leaders like Samson, Gideon, and Deborah to rescue his people from their enemies. Ultimately, God even sent his only son into battle. Jesus gave his life to liberate all people of all time from the deadly forces of sin, death, and the devil. God continues to shield and protect us each and every day.

Today we thank God for those who served and gave their lives for our country. We pray for those who continue to serve. We know God will be their shield and ours as well. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” (Psalm 28:7)



Prayer: O God of love, O King of peace, make wars throughout the world to cease;
Our greed and sinful wrath restrain. Give peace, O God, give peace again.
Whom shall we trust but you, O Lord? Where rest but on your faithful Word?
None ever called on you in vain. Give peace, O God, give peace again.
Amen.
Christian Worship 519:1, 3



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



I’m Praying for You! – Week of May 22, 2017

I’m Praying for You! – Week of May 22, 2017


For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Ephesians 1:15-19




ECME Devotion – May 22, 2017

Devotion based on Ephesians 1:15-19

See series: ECME Devotions

The end-of-the-day prayer time is one of my favorite parts of my teaching day. I get to pray with my students, and they share special requests resting on their hearts. We’ve prayed for dads in the military, sick friends, broken toys, and one young man declared he had learned plenty and prayed that God would let him stay home with Mom. Just yesterday, one student looked at me and said, “I’m praying for you!”

Just think about that for a moment. Working with young children is a huge responsibility. We teach them letters, sounds, and numbers. We marvel at God’s creation as we study plants, animals, and other science topics. Students learn how to get along with each other and function in a classroom. Most importantly, we teach them about Jesus and his love for us. I’m not sure I can do all of that, at least not as well as I’d like. But I have someone praying for me.

You have someone praying for you too. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Romans 8:26). When I don’t know where to turn next with whatever issue I’m facing, the Holy Spirit does know, and he prays for me.

Just as Paul prayed for the Ephesians, we can pray for each other. I don’t know you, but I’m praying that God will bless your ministry, that he’ll guide you as you teach your little ones about Jesus, that he’ll give you grace and wisdom. I trust you’ll pray for me as well.



Prayer: Dear ascended Lord, bless our churches and schools. Guide us as we share your Word with our students, and give us wisdom as we work with children and their families. Help us remember that the Holy Spirit prays for us, and we can pray for each other. In your holy name we pray. Amen.



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Our Hero – Week of May 15, 2017

Our Hero – Week of May 15, 2017


Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works on man’s behalf! Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. Praise be to God who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!
Psalm 66:1, 5, 16, 20 (NIV 1984)




ECME Devotion – May 15, 2017

Devotion based on Psalm 66:1,5,16,20

See series: ECME Devotions

Children love stories with a hero, someone who swoops in and saves the day. Outside, they’ll play superheroes or cops and robbers, making sure the good guy always wins.

Psalm 66 recounts a time when the bad guys were crushed by God. Moses and the people of Israel were trapped at the Red Sea, with Pharaoh’s army fast approaching. We know how the story ends, with the Israelites safe on the other side of the sea and Pharaoh’s army destroyed. God prevailed.

As teachers, we get to tell our students about God’s awesome deeds: his almighty power in creating the world, his loving kindness in rescuing his people, his concern for the sick and those in need. Jesus truly is a hero who cares for each of us personally. We teach our students what Jesus did for others and how he helps each of us now. We teach them to take their problems to Jesus and trust him to do what is best.

Our hero, Jesus, after all, rescued us from the most powerful enemies: sin, death, and the devil. He took our sins to the cross and took our punishment as he suffered, abandoned by God. He crushed the devil and obliterated death, then just a few days later he rose from the dead. Jesus took care of our worst problems, and now lovingly helps us through our day-to-day difficulties.

So, with your students, sing and pray to our hero. “Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works on man’s behalf!” (Psalm 66:1, 5)



Prayer: Yours forever, Lord of life! Shield us through our earthly strife.
You, the life, the truth, the way, guide us to the realms of day.
Yours forever! You our guide, all our needs by you supplied,
All our sins by you forgiven, lead us, Lord, from earth to heaven. Amen.
Christian Worship 426:3, 5:1, 2



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Knit Together – Week of May 8, 2017

Knit Together – Week of May 8, 2017


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 193:13-14 (NIV 1984)




ECME Devotion – May 8, 2017

Devotion based on Psalm 139:13-14

See series: ECME Devotions

My guess is that this week your class has been busy making gifts for moms. Children’s eyes light up with anticipation, and they take special care to make this surprise for Mother’s Day. And no matter what these creations look like, each mom treasures what her child made for her.

God also took great care in creating each person: the children in your classroom, their parents, your co-workers, and you. Each person he knit together in the mother’s womb. How awesome is that! God cares enough to personally form each individual and give special gifts and talents to everyone.

And God doesn’t stop there. Earlier in Psalm 139, David wrote, “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:8-10). The Psalm gives comfort to us by focusing us on the attributes of God. Are you scared and alone? He is with you, not to destroy you but to save you. Are you uncertain about your tomorrow? He knows all things, and promises them for your good. Are you weak? He is strong. Do you worry and wonder about your gifts or your lack of them? “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Moms will cherish the gifts their children make. This week we thank God for mothers, for parents, for relatives, friends, teachers, and other mentors through whom he blesses us. Above all—we thank him for who he is and who he has called us to be: his own child in his dear Son.



Prayer: O For Christian homes, O Lord, we pray, that you might dwell with us each day.
Make ours a place where you are Lord, where all is governed by your Word.
We are children of your grace; our homes are now your dwelling place.
In you we trust and daily live; teach us to serve and to forgive. Amen.
Christian Worship 500:1, 2



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



To All Nations – Week of May 1, 2017

To All Nations – Week of May 1, 2017


May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.
Psalm 67:1-2 (NIV 1984)




ECME Devotion – May 1, 2017

Devotion based on Psalm 67:1-2

See series: ECME Devotions

In my classroom this year I have students of many nationalities: Korean, Chinese, Eastern European, Filipino, Hispanic. For several students, English is their second language. It’s a wonder to see these students change as they grow in their ability to understand and eventually speak English. God’s gift of language learning is amazing!

It’s amazing also to consider that God is bringing the nations right into our classrooms. Mission work begins with us. We get to bring the incomparable news of Jesus’ love and salvation to all our students. No matter what language they speak, children understand and treasure the words, “Jesus loves you. Jesus is with you. Jesus takes your sins away.”

We have the responsibility to bring this news to children, not only during Bible time, but throughout the day. We model love and forgiveness to the rebellious child. We gently guide children to be kind and compassionate. We pray together, sing together, and grow as God’s children together. We know that the Holy Spirit will guide and help us in this huge endeavor and forgive us when we fall short.

Children in turn become missionaries as they retell Bible stories at home, sing songs in church, and deal with each other in love and forgiveness. God graciously makes his ways known through us and the little ones we teach. The next time your students break into Jesus Loves Me as they work, smile and know that God is using you to bring his news of salvation to all nations.



Prayer: O God of mercy, God of might, in love and mercy infinite,
Teach us, as ever in your sight, to live our lives to you.
All are redeemed, both far and wide, since Jesus Christ for all has died;
Grant us the will, and grace provide, to love them all in you. Amen.
Christian Worship 499:1, 4



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Childlike Faith – Week of April 24, 2017

Childlike Faith – Week of April 24, 2017


Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:28-29 (NIV 1984)




ECME Devotion – April 24, 2017

Devotion based on John 20:28-29

See series: ECME Devotions

In today’s world we have access to various types of information with the click of a button. The internet and social media have transformed the way we communicate and stay up-to-date on current events. It is not hard to find what is “trending”, which college friend had a baby, or who just went on vacation. In fact, the days of calling friends and family to make an announcement are practically over. Today, many choose to post their news on social media, because they know many will see it in just minutes. If we do not see a message or announcement online, we may not think it is true.

Thomas and the disciples did not have such easy methods of communicating during their time on earth. Delivering messages to others could take multiple days, and sometimes the message may not get delivered at all. When Jesus rose from the dead, he could not just post it on social media for all to see. When Thomas heard from the disciples that Jesus rose, he did not believe the message until he saw Jesus alive with his own eyes. Like Thomas, many find themselves doubting the gospel message because they did not see Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection with their own eyes. Many might turn to the internet and the world for answers, but we know from Romans 10:17, “faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” We may not see with our own eyes, but through the work of the Holy Spirit, we believe the message.

One can find many videos online that friends, family, or even strangers put up of their young children professing their faith through songs or Bible passages. We have the blessing of seeing this child-like faith every day in our classrooms as we share the gospel message with the children in our care. Children do not doubt their sins are forgiven. Children do not doubt Jesus died for them. Children do not doubt Jesus rose again. Children do not need to see something posted on the internet for it to be true, but rather they trust in the messages we share with them. May we be like little children as we hear God’s word and believe it without a doubt.



Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a childlike faith that does not doubt your Word. Help my faith grow and become unwavering. Amen.



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Don’t Be Alarmed – Week of April 17, 2017

Don’t Be Alarmed – Week of April 17, 2017


But when they looked up, they [Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome] saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb.
Mark 16:4-8 (NIV 1984)




ECME Devotion – April 17, 2017

Devotion based on Mark 16:4-8

See series: ECME Devotions

“Don’t be alarmed.” The angel uttered this phrase as the women approached Jesus’ tomb. Those who work with young children probably find themselves saying similar phrases on a regular basis: “Don’t worry, it’s just a scratch,” or “It’ll be okay, your mom will be back later.” Children are easily scared and concerned from life’s challenges that are thrown their way, both big and small.

Perhaps you have found yourself feeling scared and worried lately and needing comfort. Maybe your busy schedule is leaving you feeling guilty over the small amount of time you have to spend with friends and family. Maybe someone you love is fighting a losing battle with an illness or addiction. A sin-filled world brings many reasons to grow concerned and feel down. Quite frankly—there are many things that cause fear and alarm. But praise be to God that we have hope amidst these challenges.

Don’t be alarmed! Jesus? The Nazarene? The crucified one? He has risen! He is not here! What a comfort this is for us as well! The Easter message, “He has risen! He is not here!” gives us hope that the sin and suffering of this world is only temporary, but the gift of heaven is everlasting.
Just as the angel told the women to spread the message of the resurrection to Peter and the rest of Jesus’ disciples, what joy is ours to speak the same: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. In him there is no reason to fear. Happy Easter!



Prayer: He lives, all glory to his name! He lives, my Jesus still the same. Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives: “I know that my Redeemer lives!” Amen.
Christian Worship 152:8



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



The Ultimate King – Week of April 10, 2017

The Ultimate King – Week of April 10, 2017


Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 9:9 (NIV 1984)




ECME Devotion – April 10, 2017

Devotion based on Zechariah 9:9

See series: ECME Devotions

Many of today’s popular children’s shows and movies revolve around royal characters. Children love putting on dress-up clothes that make them look like kings, queens, princes, or princesses. In fact, they may even be more likely to try food if it is shaped like their favorite prince or princess or has a picture of him or her on the box. As adults, we are not much different. When a member of a royal family gets married or has a baby, the world is watching. When a princess wears a designer dress, it is likely to sell out by the next day because many women want to dress like her. In fact, some of the most popular movies or television shows involve kings and queens. No matter one’s age, there is a certain excitement and interest that comes with royalty.

We have one king that deserves more honor, more praise, and more attention than all the rest: Jesus. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, men, women, and children praised and admired him, laid down their coats for him, and watched in awe as their king passed by. Jesus was and is unlike any king of this world. Jesus is king of heaven and earth. As we begin this Holy Week, we too stand in awe of who our King is. The Righteous One! The One bringing salvation! A King who reigns not by force but by laying down his life at the end of this week.

As you see your children admire kings, queens, princes, and princesses, you also have opportunity to point them to a greater King. A King who loves them enough to ride into Jerusalem to go to Calvary’s cross. Let sweet hosannas ring! He has answered our prayer, “Hosanna! Lord save us!”



Prayer: All glory, laud, and honor to you, Redeemer King, to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring. You are the King of Israel and David’s royal Son, now in the Lord’s name coming, our King and blessed one. Amen.
Christian Worship 131 v. 1



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Set Me Free – Week of April 3, 2017

Set Me Free – Week of April 3, 2017


For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.God.
Hebrews 9:15 (NIV 1984)




ECME Devotion – April 3, 2017

Devotion based on Hebrews 9:15

See series: ECME Devotions

Spring is an exciting time of the year, especially for those living in areas that see a long winter. After a winter filled with snow, bare trees, and dead plants, seeing green life spring up is a refreshing sight. Those who work with children also understand that warmer temperatures bring the escape from the many minutes it daily takes to help children into their snow pants, boots, coats, and gloves. Seeing children run outside on their first coat-free day of the year is a fun sight to watch. Sheer joy fills their faces as they are able to run free without the restraints of heavy winter gear. A weight is literally lifted off their shoulders, making outdoor play even more enjoyable.

If you live in a warm climate year round, you may never experience the restraints of winter gear. However, perhaps you see something else weighing on children’s shoulders: parents who are constantly fighting, a family member in jail, families not having enough to eat, a new baby to share attention with, and the list could continue. We want the children we care so deeply for to be free from such hardships, but sin affects the lives of all with no exceptions.

It’s not just the hardships we see ‘out there’; but the burden of sin in our own lives. Thank God for his answer. It is unfathomable. A ransom. A payment. Jesus Christ—dead and an eternal inheritance freely given. This season of Lent we again rejoice in who he is and what he has paid that we would live in such freedom. We also rejoice that he has given us a time and place to speak such freedom to the children in our care. Jesus Christ. Your ransom and theirs! And in him an eternal inheritance!



Prayer: Loving Savior, we praise you for setting us free from our sins by your sacrifice on the cross. Bless us as we share the peace that comes from your death and resurrection with the children in our care. Amen.



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Our Prayer – Week of March 27, 2017

Our Prayer – Week of March 27, 2017


For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in Heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with a power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV 1984)




ECME Devotion – March 27, 2017

Devotion based on Ephesians 3:14-19

See series: ECME Devotions

Prayer. What does it mean to pray? A prayer is simply talking to God. Prayers can take shape in a variety of ways. Some prayers are pre-written by Bible theologians, while others are words spoken from the heart. Even little children pray and understand that through prayer they are talking God. Yes, their prayers might be as simple as thanking God for their mom and dad or asking for a new toy. However, whatever the content, a prayer is an intimate conversation between a Christian and God.

The verses for this devotion serve as a beautiful prayer! It begins by asking that God give strength to his family. God’s family is you and me and the whole family of believers of all time and everywhere. This prayer is a request for an inner strength, that is, faith! Next, the prayer asks for knowledge for God’s family. These verses describe God’s love as long, high, and deep. We cannot even begin to fathom the depth of God’s love. It is something that we cannot grasp because of our sinful nature. It “surpasses knowledge,” but we trust the love of God! Finally, we have the confidence that we are filled with the fullness of God. God blesses us beyond what we deserve or imagine!

The verses from Ephesians serve as a wonderful prayer that you and I can pray for other people as well! Early childhood ministry is a fast-paced ministry that connects many people together! Some of the families have been lifelong members of the church; some of them are new to the Christian faith; and some have no religious background. It is our daily prayer that the families of the children we serve be strengthened by the power of Christ in their hearts and also that they may know the love that surpasses understanding! These verses can be our daily prayer.



Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please be with the families of the children that we teach. Grant them an understanding of your love. Please strengthen their faith in you through the power of Christ. Amen.

A Question to Consider: What are some ways that we can incorporate lessons about prayer to the families of the children we teach?



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Imitators – Week of March 20, 2017

Imitators – Week of March 20, 2017


Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV 1984)




ECME Devotion – March 20, 2017

Devotion based on Ephesians 5:1-2

See series: ECME Devotions

As I look around my classroom, I can see young children learning through their play. In one center, a group is playing kitchen. They are making dinner and talking with one another while serving each other the food. It is clear that they are imitating the way they see their parents make dinner. In another center, there is a group pretending to fix the broken book shelf. They are measuring boards and pounding pretend nails. They have seen someone in their life try to fix things and are imitating the behavior. Finally, I see a group sitting in a circle at the center playing school. If I listen closely, I can even hear the children use the exact words that I use! Children learn by watching and then doing, they are imitators! These verses from the book of Ephesians command us to be imitators of God and to live a life of love. We are to do what God has done for us, show love to our neighbor.

Now the command in these verses is no easy feat! How many times do we get frustrated with a parent? How often do we get impatient with a coworker? Instead of frustration and impatience, the Lord urges us to show love. Love includes kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. Thankfully, we have the perfect example to imitate, Christ himself. He loved you and me so much that he gave himself as an offering to God on our behalf. We are sinners, but our sins have been wiped away through the sacrifice that Christ made! We are forgiven and dearly loved children of God. This example of Christ is what gives us the motivation and ability to imitate the love that was shown to us. Just as a child imitates an example set before them, so you and I can boldly be imitators of God! Through his example of love and forgiveness, we can sincerely love and forgive our neighbors as well. When we feel ourselves struggling to show love, we lift our eyes to the cross, where we find the perfect demonstration of love.



Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to offer himself as a sacrifice on our behalf. Thank you for demonstrating a deep love for each one us. Please give us strength as we imitate your love in our lives. In your name, we pray. Amen.

A Question to Consider: How can we teach the young children in our care to be imitators of God?



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Show me – Week of March 13, 2017

Show me – Week of March 13, 2017


Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love for they are from of old.
Psalm 25:4-6 (NIV 1984)




ECME Devotion – March 13, 2017

Devotion based on Psalm 25:4-6

See series: ECME Devotions

How many times throughout the course of the day do you show a child how to complete a task? How many times do you model proper manners for a child? How many times during the day do you guide a child through right and wrong behavior? Our days are filled with these activities. They’re simply part of our job. We all have a teacher we fondly remember because they guided us in all the same ways as they brought learning to life for us.

Better than any earthly teacher, you and I have the master teacher, Jesus the Lord, who clearly shows us the path and lays out the way for us in the Bible. His words teach us the truth, and his life and ministry show us how to love. The words of David in these verses are a prayer asking that God show him the way and guide him on the path of life with the truth of the Bible. These words can and should be our daily prayer too.

These verses also plead for the Lord to remember his mercy. God’s mercy is that he doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve. We are sinful. We daily do things that are wrong. And yet, the Lord forgives us! The last words in these verses ask God to show us his mercy and love. We can confidently approach the Lord and ask for mercy, and his mercy is freely given to us.

As caretakers of young children, it is our responsibility to guide them through tasks. Thank the Lord, that He has shown us the path and guides us with the truth every day of our lives!



Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father please show us the way and guide us in all that we do. Thank you for the daily mercy that you show to us. Please grant us wisdom and guidance as we teach your little lambs. In your name, we pray. Amen.

A Question to Consider: How can we help prospects see that God’s mercy is a gift freely given to them?



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Angels watching over me – Week of March 6, 2017

Angels watching over me – Week of March 6, 2017


For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
Psalm 91:11-12 (NIV 1984)




ECME Devotion – March 6, 2017

Devotion based on Psalm 91:11-12

See series: ECME Devotions

Close your eyes for a moment and think about outside time on the playground with a class of three, four, and five-year-olds. The playground is a wonderful place where both play and learning happen. Do you see children running? Do you see children swinging? Do you see children climbing and jumping off the play structure? When children are on the playground, they seem to be fearless. They trust that they are safe and that the teachers will protect them from getting hurt. The child-like faith trusts that God is with them and will keep them safe on the playground, in school, or wherever they might be.

As adults, we tend to be aware of the danger surrounding us in this world. We might worry about the children playing on the playground or maybe we worry about the safety of a family member or friend. These verses from Psalm 91 assure us that God always protects us, giving us comfort and peace to know that he commands his angels to guard us in all our ways. When we feel ourselves getting overwhelmed with fear, this passage is a great reminder for us all.

Just as the children on the playground have the child-like faith that God will protect them, so can you and I. We can go through our day with confidence because we trust God is protecting us!



Prayer: Dear Father, thank-you for commanding your angels to guard us in all our ways. Please help us to always find comfort and peace in your protection. In your name, we pray. Amen.

A Question to Consider: How can we strive to share the comfort and peace of God’s protection with both the child and the family who are going through a difficult situation?



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Rescued – Week of February 27, 2017

Rescued – Week of February 27, 2017


Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; O Lord, hear my voice…but with you there is forgiveness.
Psalm 130:1,2,4




ECME Devotion – February 27, 2017

Devotion based on Psalm 130:1,2,4

See series: ECME Devotions

It’s happened to every teacher and childcare worker at one time or another. You turn your head for just a moment and something bad happens to a child. We feel terrible. That’s what happened on October 14, 1987 in Midland, Texas. “Cissy” was helping at her sister’s in-home childcare program. When she turned to answer the phone, 18-month-old Jessica wandered across the backyard and fell into a well that was supposed to have been covered. “Baby Jessica” fell 22 feet into the well where she was trapped. The eyes of the nation focused on Baby Jessica as rescue workers dug another hole nearby and tunneled toward her.

Maybe sometimes you have felt as trapped as Baby Jessica was. Maybe the stress of your job, the grind of your calling and the worries of daily life leave you feeling trapped. No matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to get things fixed and going smoothly. But what traps us worst of all is our sins. Try as we might, we cannot stop ourselves from sinning. And the more we do, guilt weighs us down further and further. Nothing we do can make up for our sins. We are trapped in them and, therefore, doomed to eternal death. That’s how the Psalmist felt as he wrote Psalm 130 and begged for help, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; O Lord, hear my voice.”

They managed to rescue Baby Jessica. She is now a grown adult and as far as we know living a happy and healthy life. Jesus Christ rescued you from the depths of sin and death by his perfect life and perfect death on the cross. Because of Jesus, your guilt is gone. Your sins are forgiven, and you will live a happy life eternally in heaven.

Wednesday, March 1, is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the church season of Lent. For the next 40 days, we will especially focus on the suffering and death of Jesus. This is a wonderful time to remind ourselves, the children in our care, and their families of how much Jesus loves us and how much he was willing to endure in order to save us from the depths of sin and death. With Jesus, there is forgiveness.



Prayer: Lord, I confess that I am trapped in my sin and guilt. Thank you for rescuing me, through your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Presidents Day – Week of February 20, 2017

Presidents Day – Week of February 20, 2017


I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
I Timothy 2:1-4




ECME Devotion – February 20, 2017

Devotion based on I Timothy 2:1-4

See series: ECME Devotions

Few things get the hearts of childcare workers racing as the announcement, “The state inspector is here.” The state inspector can crawl through every inch and every file in your school. Even when you think that everything is correct, a state inspector can still find some form that isn’t initialed properly and “write you up.” It can be nerve wracking.

Even though a state inspector can make us nervous, we know that they are necessary. The state has the job of keeping its citizens—especially children who can’t defend themselves—safe from any harm or danger. Think for a moment how miserable life would be without a government to watch over us. With no military or police to keep us safe, life would be chaos. No one would ever be safe. The state is God’s agent for protecting us so we can live peaceful lives, raise our families, go to work and even work in a childcare facility or school where families can safely leave their children.

God took care of our greatest needs when he sent Jesus Christ to live and die for us. All of our sins are forgiven. Heaven is in our future. Our loving Lord also provides for our physical needs, quite often through our government. As we celebrate President’s Day, pause to give thanks to the Lord for all of the blessings that he has poured out on you through our government and its leaders. (Why not try to list 10? 20? More?) And then follow St. Paul’s advice to pray for our president and all government officials, even state inspectors.



Prayer: Lord, thank you for providing for all of my spiritual needs through your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you, also, for providing for our physical needs through our government and its officials. Give them wisdom and strength to carry out their callings so that we can live in peace and quietness as we rejoice in your love and share it with others. Amen.

A Question to Consider: While it may be tempting to focus on the challenges our country faces, what are the blessings we have as Christians living in the United States? Collaborate with a colleague to create a list of those blessings.



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



Our dearest love – Week of February 13, 2017

Our dearest love – Week of February 13, 2017


Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:12-14




ECME Devotion – February 13, 2017

Devotion based on Colossians 3:12-14

See series: ECME Devotions

Everyone is excited to celebrate Valentine’s Day this week. Valentine was a Christian young man who lived in Rome in the third century. According to legend, he was deeply in love and planned to get married soon. At that time, Christianity was illegal and all Christians were declared guilty of treason. Rather than deny their Savior, though, many Christians boldly confessed their faith in Jesus. Valentine was one of those confessors who remained true to Christ and was arrested.

While he was in jail, awaiting his death in the arena, Valentine wrote a number of beautiful, impassioned letters to his would-be bride. He assured her of his great love for her. But he also made it clear that first place in his heart was reserved for Jesus, his Savior. History tells us that on February 14, in the year 269, Valentine was put to death, martyred for Jesus Christ. In the year 496—after Christianity was an accepted religion—the church declared February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day.

While the Christian significance of this day has been pretty well forgotten by now, we can let this background for Valentine’s Day bring us past superficial sentimentality to the greatest love of all—the love of God for the world. Jesus showed true love by giving his life for us on the cross in order to pay for our forgiveness so we could have eternal life in heaven.

The sacrificial love of Jesus touches our hearts and fills us with gratitude. It moves us to show “true love” to one another. “True love” is not just sweet emotions, but a commitment to help, regardless of the cost or consequence. The love we show to the children and to one another begins with the knowledge and joy of knowing that we are God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved. Filled up with God’s love, we will be kind and loving toward others on Valentine’s Day and always.



Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your unconditional and unending love that saved me. Help me to say “Thank You” to you by sharing that same love with others. Amen.



Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
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.



With us in the storms – Week of February 6, 2017

With us in the storms – Week of February 6, 2017


Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Matthew 8:23-27




ECME Devotion – February 5, 2017

Devotion based on Matthew 8:23-27

See series: ECME Devotions

Experienced fishermen were terrified that they were going to drown. Meanwhile, Jesus was sleeping – as if he didn’t care, as if he fell asleep on the job of protecting them.

Does it sometimes seem that Jesus doesn’t care or that he’s fallen asleep on the job of protecting you? What storms are stressing you out? What winds are buffeting you? Is your doctor concerned and ordering more tests? Are finances squeezing you? Are there problems with some children or their parents? Are there issues in your own family? Are there struggles with other staff members as you trudge through the long winter? If Jesus loves us, then why do these bad and sad things happen to us?

Even though Jesus was sleeping, he didn’t forget about his disciples. He could have woken up and calmed the storm before they panicked. He could have stopped the storm before it even started. But he stayed sleeping and he used the storm to teach his disciples to look to him in every need. He taught them that they couldn’t solve all of their own problems. They couldn’t keep themselves safe. They needed help. They despaired of their own efforts and turned to Jesus.

Jesus wants us to turn to him, too. He knows we need his help, not just to get through some stressful situation in our daily lives, but especially for the forgiveness of sins. He uses the storms in our lives to get us to keep our focus on him. Jesus will not fall asleep on the job. He will keep providing what you need for each day. He will keep forgiving. He is your Savior who even controls the winds and the waves for the good of his people. Stay focused on him.



Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for your constant attention to my needs, especially my greatest need of salvation. Amen.

A Question to Consider: What are your storms right now? If you were encouraging someone else with your same storms, what would you say to them? What would be your prayer for them?



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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.