WELS Daily Devotions

No Back-Up Plan – June 29, 2016

Wed, Jun 29, 2016

So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother good-by,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.
1 Kings 19:19-21

No Back-Up Plan
Daily Devotion – June 29, 2016

Devotion based on 1 Kings 19:19-21
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160629dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

“Mmm, mmm, that smells like my grandma’s kitchen!”

“Ahh, it smells like summer!”

Have you noticed how certain scents evoke particular memories and how one whiff of an aroma can send you on a trip down memory lane? In 1 Kings chapter 19, the Lord lets us smell the aroma of grilled oxen burgers and he uses it to remind us that there is no back-up plan in life.

Here’s the situation. As the prophet Elijah neared the end of his ministry, the Lord instructed him to anoint Elisha as his successor. So Elijah went and found Elisha plowing in the fields and passed on the prophet’s cloak. Elisha wasted no time pursuing his new calling. He ran to kiss his parents good-bye and when he returned, he hosted a farewell party. He slaughtered his yoke of oxen, burned his plowing equipment, and then cooked up some “oxen burgers” for the people nearby. Why would he do this?

There was no “Plan B” for Elisha. There would be no turning back to a life of farming. He was “all in” in his new life as a prophet of God. And when you think about it, there is no “Plan B” for our lives either. There’s Jesus and then there’s…well…

Jesus said it like this, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). I don’t hear a Plan B there. Any kind of life apart from Jesus isn’t a plan, it’s disaster.

Elisha was willing to burn up, kiss goodbye, and bid farewell to everything in order to follow his Lord. The connection to our lives should be evident. We should be willing to kiss goodbye and bid farewell to everything to follow our Savior too. And though that might sound like loss, I hope you realize the incredible gain. We have gained more in Christ than we could ever lose in this world. He has given us forgiveness, peace, and eternal security. With Jesus, there is no need for a “back-up plan!”

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for all you have given to me through Jesus. Continue to strengthen my faith through your Word and use my life in complete service to you. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Stand Firm in Your Freedom – June 28, 2016

Tue, Jun 28, 2016

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

Stand Firm in Your Freedom
Daily Devotion – June 28, 2016

Devotion based on Galatians 5:1
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160628dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

In June of 1865, Major General Gordon Granger and his soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas and announced that the American Civil War had ended and that all slaves were now free. Note that this happened more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. By the declaration of the President, all slaves were free in 1863. It took more than two years, however, for all the slaves throughout the United States to hear about it. For more than two years, countless people were living in a slavery from which they had already been set free.

Sadly, the same type of thing still happens. The United States no longer condones slavery. But people feel enslaved every day. Enslaved to alcohol. Enslaved to the high that comes from drugs or prescription medication. Enslaved to pornography. Enslaved to feelings of bitterness, anger, or jealousy. To be enslaved means that you no longer feel in control. You do not do what you want to. Someone or something else has control of you. And when what controls you is sin, when you feel chained to the same sinful choices again and again, the discouragement and deep guilt that result can make you feel as though you are living in slavery.

But sin’s slavery is one from which you have already been set free. Not by your ability to finally overcome the addiction. Not by your strength to stay away from the temptation. Not by your newfound faithfulness to God’s laws. But by the declaration of Jesus, who died on the cross to take the punishment for your sin so that you could live every day knowing that you are forgiven. Your sin does not determine your status in God’s family. Jesus does. He declares that you are free from the power and punishment of sin.

“Stand firm, then,” the Bible says, “and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Remember that you have been set free–the next time temptation comes creeping in. Remember that you have been set free–the next time you’re overwhelmed with guilt. Remember that you have been set free–the next time you feel weak. Remember that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for the precious gift of freedom from sin. Help us to stand firm against Satan and his wicked temptations by remembering your declaration that we are free. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Follow Jesus – Totally Committed – June 27, 2016

Mon, Jun 27, 2016

As [Jesus and the disciples] were walking along the road, a man said to [Jesus], “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
Luke 9:57-58

Follow Jesus – Totally Committed
Daily Devotion – June 27, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 9:57-58
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160627dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

If God does not exist, whether you believe or not makes no difference. In the end you die. If God does exist, then following him brings an eternity of infinite happiness. Look at the pay outs. Isn’t it reasonable to bet that God does exist?

That’s a version of Pascal’s Wager (Blaise Pascal, 1623-62, Pensées). Although it might be useful in getting skeptics to rethink their unbelief, it fails to convey what it means to believe in God and follow him.

Is faith a rational calculation we make, carefully weighing the odds? Of course not! Is following Jesus simply an easy way to hedge our bets on eternity? In no way!

Yet, do we treat following him as if it were an insurance policy that hedges our bet in case we suffer loses? Maybe we calculate that reading a five-minute daily devotion doesn’t take too much time, so why not do it? Maybe we figure attending church on Sunday can’t hurt, just in case we need Jesus during the week.

Jesus crushes that sinful mindset with his words in Luke chapter 9. Following him is total commitment.

“But isn’t forgiveness free? Didn’t Jesus do everything for me, fully paying for all my sins with his death on the cross? Isn’t eternal life a free gift given by God’s grace alone, unmerited by me?” Yes, yes, and yes! This is the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But this good news radically changes you and me from the inside out. God’s free forgiveness in Jesus leads us to fight against sinful ways, even though our old self tries to convince us it’s worth the risk. Following Jesus is total commitment.

Since Jesus died for us and rose again, we live for him. Don’t limit Jesus to a five-minute devotion or an hour on Sunday morning. Live for him every moment of every day. How? As you gratefully use your abilities to serve him in love by carrying out the responsibilities he gives you at home and work, in society and the church. Following Jesus is total commitment.

We follow Jesus, not wondering what our odds of making it to heaven might be. Rather, we follow with the sure conviction that eternal life is ours because of God’s unconditional promise, sealed by Jesus’ resurrection.

So follow Jesus, totally committed, because he is totally committed to you.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, erase my hesitations, so that I follow you totally committed relying totally on you. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Trust Me – June 26, 2016

Sun, Jun 26, 2016

While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said, “Why bother the teacher anymore?” Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
Mark 5:35-36

Trust Me
Daily Devotion – June 26, 2016

Devotion based on Mark 5:35-36
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160626dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

“Why bother?” That was Joel’s response. He couldn’t understand why his friend kept on praying. “Can’t you see it’s not going to help?” Even though his friend couldn’t understand, Fred still believed. He knew the Lord would never let his prayer go unanswered. He also knew the answer was going to be for his good, regardless of the outcome. Fred understood the importance of prayer and the value of faith in God Almighty.

Jesus reached out to Jairus with the same encouragement. Although his friends said, “Don’t bother,” Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid.” He also added, “Trust me.”

It is trust in Jesus which uncovers the precious nature of prayer. Trust accepts Jesus’ power to help. Trust also accepts his willingness to answer. Trust even accepts his wisdom to do the right thing regardless of the outcome.

This kind of trust can only come as the result of a life securely built on the foundation of the Word of God. In that Word I can see the reason why I can trust Jesus. In a wonderful act of undeserved love he subjected himself to ridicule and punishment. He allowed himself to be crucified and killed. He even permitted the devil and his enemies to gain the upper hand. However, this was only for a brief moment, and eventually led to their complete defeat. Through his act of love Jesus overcame every fear that haunts me and every sin that separates me from God the Father. Jesus even destroyed the power of the devil and the grave. It is this overwhelming and complete victory as my Savior and Substitute that tells me I can trust in Jesus for everything – for my physical and my spiritual well being.

Sometimes it is hard to believe someone when they say, “Trust me.” It becomes even harder to trust someone when all the evidence screams, “What’s the use!” All this changes when it is my Savior who says, “Trust me.” It is because of what he has done, and what he continues to do that I can put my trust in him without the fear of being disappointed.

Jesus speaks to me, just as spoke to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Prayer:
O precious Savior, I need you and your strength for my life in this world. Increase my trust in you and in all your precious promises. Amen.


This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Rich – June 25, 2016

Sat, Jun 25, 2016

You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9

Rich
Daily Devotion – June 25, 2016

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 8:9
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160625dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Do you feel rich? An economist by the name of Robert Heilbroner once challenged people to imagine doing the following. Move your family into a building the size of an old tool shed. Have no electricity, no running water, no bathroom. Get rid of all your clothes except for one set. Keep one pair of shoes. Destroy all written material. Toss out all food except for some flour, sugar and salt, a few potatoes, some onions and dried beans. Throw away all your investments, pensions and insurance policies. Reduce your savings to ten dollars. Live about a three-hour walk away from the nearest clinic. And support your entire family raising crops on a few acres of land. Give a third of your crops to your landlord and a tenth of your crops to your money lender.

If you do that, says Robert Heilbroner, then you’ll know how over a billion people are living in the world right now. And then, perhaps, you’ll realize how rich you really are.

Now imagine something else. The world you live in is dark, cynical, senseless. If there is a God, you haven’t met him. If there is some grand reason for living, you don’t know it. And so you go to work, come home, cash your check on payday, get groceries, watch TV, catch up with the laundry on weekends, take in a ballgame with friends, discuss current events, pursue a hobby, vacation during the summer, go to the dentist, go to the doctor, feel your body getting old, put in for retirement, mow your lawn and weed your garden, watch your life get slower and smaller. And then you wait to die—empty, puzzled and frightened.

If you can imagine that, then you can imagine life without Jesus, life without the forgiveness, peace, joy, security, purpose and certainty of heaven that are yours in your Savior. And then, you, too, can realize how rich you really are.

Prayer:
Forgive me, Lord Jesus, for all the times I have forgotten how rich I am in you. Empower me by your Spirit. Help me to see what I have with fresh insight. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Jesus Has the Experience – June 24, 2016

Fri, Jun 24, 2016

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

Jesus Has the Experience
Daily Devotion – June 24, 2016

Devotion based on Revelation 1:8
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160624dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

The doctor reassures, “I’ve done hundreds of these surgeries before. Don’t worry.”
The teacher tells the concerned parents, “I’ve helped countless students with the same challenge. Don’t worry.”

Experience means something. We all feel better when a carpenter or mechanic tells us, “I’ve done this many times. It will be no problem. Don’t worry!”

The Lord God was talking to people who were worried. They weren’t worried about elections or terrorist attacks. They were worried that the Roman government would crush them and their fellow believers because they refused to worship the Roman Emperor as a god. Jesus reassured these worried believers, “I’ve taken care of believers over and over again. It will be no problem. Don’t worry!”

Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet. Omega is the last letter. When Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” he was reminding his believers that he is the beginning and the end. He has always been here. He will always be here. He has plenty of experience helping believers with all kinds of worries: illness, stress, heartache, family fights, taxes, terrorist attacks, and even government backed persecution. Jesus has the experience, power, and love to help us no matter what worries us.

We worry because we don’t trust him. We think we’re on our own. We turn our back to his offer to help. We’re afraid his way of helping us might involve sacrifice or suffering which we don’t want to go through. So we worry and stress and get scared because we just don’t trust our Lord. He gave his own life for us. He suffered for all our sins. Yet we don’t trust him!

He keeps reassuring us, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” “I’ve been around for a long time and helped a lot of people through tough times. I’ve given them strength. I’ve kept harm far away from them. I’ve limited how much they had to suffer. I have rescued every believer from their sufferings and trials and taken them home to heaven. I’ve seen believers through tougher times than what you’re facing. So don’t worry. You’re safe with me.”

Prayer:
Jesus, we live in dangerous times. Remind me that you are the beginning and the end. You’ve seen it all and have helped millions of believers before. Fill my heart with your peace because you will always take care of me—now and forever. Amen.

This month we give our attention to Jesus’ “I AM” statements on each Thursday and Friday. For previous devotions in this series, go here.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Connection with Jesus – June 23, 2016

Thu, Jun 23, 2016

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5

Connection with Jesus
Daily Devotion – June 23, 2016

Devotion based on John 15:5
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160623dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Lately, I seem to be getting frequent reminders that I am not as young as I used to be. The latest was a notice in the mail that our 20th high school class reunion will be held this summer. Indeed, those 20 years can go by very quickly. Also, a lot can happen in 20 years that can make it hard to stay in contact with classmates. Life happens. We get married and have children. Jobs take us all over the country. When we go so long without seeing people, it is very easy to lose the connections we once had with them.

It’s also easy for that to take place with Jesus. Life happens. We get married and have children. We fill our schedules up with work and sports and school activities. We have family and community obligations. We take vacations and try to make the most of life and before we know it we are losing our connection with Jesus. This happens gradually just like it does with high school classmates over 20 years. But before we know it, we have not remained in Jesus.

Losing a connection to a high school friend is one thing. Losing our connection with Jesus is another thing altogether. Jesus makes it clear in John chapter 15 that without a connection to him we are in trouble: we can’t grow…we can’t produce fruit…we can’t be saved. Ultimately, no connection with Jesus means no getting into heaven. It means getting tossed out with the other dead branches into the eternal burn pile.

The good news is that Jesus will never sever his connection with those who are joined to him by faith. He is always ready and waiting in his Word to remind us of his love and to draw us closer to him.

Perhaps for you now is a good time to reconnect with Jesus and take steps to remain in Jesus. Recommit yourself to regularly attending worship. Join a Bible study. Expand your devotional life.

We may or may not want to attend a class reunion, but we never want to miss out on eternal life with Jesus!

Prayer:
Dear Savior, thank you for always being there for me in Word and Sacrament. Bless my efforts to remain in you now and forever. Amen.

This month we give our attention to Jesus’ “I AM” statements on each Thursday and Friday. For previous devotions in this series, go here.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Watch the Shepherd, Not the Scattering Sheep – June 22, 2016

Wed, Jun 22, 2016

“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered…”
Zechariah 13:7

Watch the Shepherd, Not the Scattering Sheep
Daily Devotion – June 22, 2016

Devotion based on Zechariah 13:7
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160622dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

As he buckled into the roller coaster seat, the boy was all smiles. “This is going to fun!” he said. But then as the roller coaster climbed the first hill, kept on climbing, and finally crested over the hill, the boy screamed, “I want to get off!” Courage is an interesting thing. We can have it most when we need it least and have it least when we need it most.

In an upper room with Jesus on the night before his death, the disciples were brimming with courage. Jesus told them, though, that on that very night they would fall away on account of him. He even shared words of the prophet Zechariah, “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.” Beginning with Peter, one-by-one the disciples vowed that even if they had to die with Jesus, they would never disown him. It was easy for them to be courageous in the safety of the upper room. But when the circumstances changed and Jesus was arrested, they scattered like frightened sheep.

What happened? Where was their courage and the willingness to die for Jesus? It was lost in a fearful cloud of dust. Have you experienced moments of fear like this? One moment you can be courageous and bold—usually when things are going well. The next moment you can be fearful and flighty—usually when things aren’t going well. Why do changing circumstances have such an effect?

It really does no good to watch the scattering sheep and wonder why they are scattering. Instead watch the faithful Shepherd and understand why he allowed himself to be stricken. He did it for you! With resolute courage and for the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross and rose from the grave. This means that you have a Shepherd who has forgiven your flightiness and risen to free you from fearfulness. This means that whatever awaits you this day or in the future, you don’t face it alone. Sheep may be flighty, but Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is faithful!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you know all of my worries and my fears. Drive them away from my heart. Comfort me with your faithful love and keep me in your tender care. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

You Are God’s Child – June 21, 2016

Tue, Jun 21, 2016

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Galatians 3:26-27

You Are God’s Child
Daily Devotion – June 21, 2016

Devotion based on Galatians 3:26-27
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160621dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

There is a story about a man who came to his pastor’s home office feeling very troubled. “No matter how much I pray, no matter how hard I try,” the man said, “I simply cannot seem to be faithful to my Lord. I struggle with my sins. I find it hard to believe that God’s family would ever include someone like me.”

The pastor pointed to his dog and responded, “Do you see this dog here? He is my dog. He is house-trained. He never makes a mess. He is perfectly obedient and he is a pure delight to me. Out in the kitchen I have a son, a baby son. He makes a mess, he throws his food around, he fouls his clothes. At this point in his life, he is almost entirely disobedient.” “However,” the pastor went on, “it’s not the dog who will one day receive my inheritance. My son will receive the inheritance.”

His point was to illustrate how it is that someone becomes a member of God’s family who will inherit heaven. The Bible says, “In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God—children of God—
through faith.” Notice that it doesn’t say, “You are all children of God when your life looks good enough,” “when you keep God’s laws well enough,” “when you’ve been a Christian for long enough,” or “when you no longer sin too much.”

It’s easy to look at our lives and evaluate whether or not they look good enough to be worthy of God’s love. Have you worshipped God with your whole heart? Have you been kind enough to your neighbors? Have you given enough love to your family? Have you been patient enough with your children? Have you given a sufficient offering to God at church? Honestly answering those questions will only lead us to one conclusion: We don’t belong in God’s holy family.

And yet, God assures us in baptism that he covers a dirty, foul, sinful life with something new. “You who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” In other words, when someone is baptized, God looks at them and sees exactly what he would if he were looking at the life of Jesus Christ. He doesn’t see a disobedient life of filth. He sees a perfect life of obedience. He sees someone who belongs in his holy family.

Your baptism is a promise that, today, you are God’s child. You will be tomorrow too. And you have God’s word to live as such; to live in such a way that celebrates not only your place in God’s family, but also the truth that, as God’s child, nothing will keep you from one day receiving the inheritance of heaven.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for making us your children through the precious gift of baptism. Help us to live obedient lives of faith out of thanks for bringing us into your family. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Who do you say Jesus is? – June 20, 2016

Mon, Jun 20, 2016

“What about you?” [Jesus] asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
Luke 9:20

Who do you say Jesus is?
Daily Devotion – June 20, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 9:20
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160620dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Who do you say Jesus is?

We hear various answers from the crowds around us. Some say he’s nothing but a legend, a myth that’s retold to teach some sort of truth. Others say he was a good man ahead of his times whose life was cut short because society misunderstood him. Others hold him up as a role model of morality and tell us we should be more like Jesus. Still others say he showed us the way to God if we would only follow his example.

But what about you? Who do you say Jesus is?

Peter confessed: “The Christ of God.”

Christ comes from the Greek word for anointed, just as Messiah comes from the Hebrew word for anointed. In the Old Testament, a person had olive oil poured over his head to show that God had special work for him to do. At times priests, prophets, or kings were anointed in this way for their life’s work.

As the Christ of God, Jesus was sent by the Father to do one-of-a-kind work. So he was anointed, not with olive oil but with the Holy Spirit. He was anointed to do the work of saving sinners, rescuing you and me from sin, death, and hell. He wasn’t showing us how to save ourselves. Not at all! He alone rescued sinners, for he alone is the Christ of God.

Who do you say Jesus is? Boldly confess: He is my Priest, who offered himself on the cross as the complete sacrifice for all my sins. He is my Prophet, who through his eternal word brings to me God’s saving message of free forgiveness because of his sacrifice. He is my King, who not only conquered sin, Satan, and death for me but also reigns over all to bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.

Who is Jesus? He is your Priest, Prophet, and King. He is your Savior.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you are my crucified and risen Savior. Lead me to continue following you in faith, relying on your sacrifice as the full payment for my sins, trusting your word of truth recorded in the Scriptures, and eagerly anticipating when I will stand before your heavenly throne. For you are the Christ of God, my Savior. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Don’t You Care? – June 19, 2016

Sun, Jun 19, 2016

That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that is was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
Mark 4:35-39

Don’t You Care?
Daily Devotion – June 19, 2016

Devotion based on Mark 4:35-39
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160619dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

The disciples were terrified. A serious storm had overtaken them. The winds were howling. The waves were crashing into the boat. They struggled with every ounce of strength they had. Nothing seemed to help and they were desperate.

While the disciples struggled, Jesus slept soundly in the back of the boat. Didn’t he know what was happening? Didn’t he realize the serious nature of the situation? Didn’t he care?

In a sense of hopelessness and frustration the disciples’ thoughts became words, and they woke Jesus from his sleep. Their response was pointed and accusatory, “Don’t you care if we drown?”

I can understand the fear and desperation of the disciples. I can also understand the sense of hopelessness and frustration. In my darkest hours I pray, and I pray fervently. Unfortunately, there are times when my impassioned pleas seem unanswered. I assume I am being ignored by the One I approach for help. If nothing happens and my prayers remain unanswered, I may reach the same critical juncture the disciples did. My thoughts become words and my emotions overwhelm me, “Lord, don’t you care?”

While my flesh may say, “No, Jesus doesn’t care,” and the devil will reaffirm this conclusion, nothing could be farther from the truth. Jesus does care and he will always respond.

When the time was right, Jesus quieted the wind and the waves. His response left the disciples in awe, “Who is this?” When the time is right, Jesus will address my concerns and quiet the storms raging in my life. What I need to remember is, he does this according to his time and his plan for my life (Romans 8:28). He also does this according to his great love for me. That love was fully revealed in his death and resurrection. In Jesus’ precious work and at his cross I see those powerful words inscribed in blood, “I do love you.” It is this love which gives me every reason to trust him with my life. It is this love which assures me he will answer all my prayers for my blessing. It is this love which tells me, Jesus does care.

Prayer:
O gracious Lord, I am impatient and I do not always understand how you work. Give me the strength of faith I need to trust you. Give me the assurance I need to know your care for me is like your love—never-failing and without limits. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Where Were You? – June 18, 2016

Sat, Jun 18, 2016

Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”
Job 38:1-7

Where Were You?
Daily Devotion – June 18, 2016

Devotion based on Job 38:1-7
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160618dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Job was a believer in the LORD; he lived long before Jesus was born. Job faced severe hardship. His ten children died in a storm. He was financially devastated in one day, and soon after disease ridden. Job’s friends counseled him that perhaps he had this coming from God. For a long time, Job held to his faith in God. Finally, Job challenged God to give him a reason for all the terrible things that had happened to him. Job demanded an answer from God. Job was essentially asking, “God, where were you when all this bad stuff happened to me?”

People today get hung up on the same question. Hardship, tragedies and failed dreams have hit 21st century people. Have you ever found yourself asking: “Where were you, God, when all this bad stuff happened? Are you really in control? Do you really love me?”

Job wandered into sin when he started questioning God’s wisdom and love, and when he demanded that God give him an answer for what had happened to him. Like Job, we sin when we go beyond the hurt and confusion of loss and hardship. We step over the line into disrespect and doubt when we accuse God of being less than perfectly loving, infinitely wise and completely in control. We sin when we point an accusing finger at God and demand that God show us why he’s done or allowed what he has.

God graciously and powerfully answered Job’s doubts and accusations. God responds with a “Where Were You?” of his own. God asked Job where he was when God created the world. What could Job say? It was as if Job needed to admit: “I wasn’t there because I’m not eternal like you. I couldn’t have done what you did because I’m not even close to as powerful, wise and loving as you are. You are God and I am not.”

When we are struggling through hardship, it’s essential to hear God’s answer from his Word to “Where Were You?” Where was God when you needed him most? In a manger to be your Savior and brother. Walking this earth as your perfect substitute. On the cross as the sacrifice for all your sins. Out of the tomb as your Victor over sin and death. At your Father’s right hand to rule all things for your good. Right by your side–now and always.

Prayer:
LORD God, for the sake of Jesus, forgive me for doubting or accusing you of less than perfect love and wisdom in the way you care for me. When hardship comes into my life, keep me far from pointing an accusing finger at you. Instead, take me firmly in your hand and care for me. Give me comfort and peace in your Word and in you. You are my Rock and Redeemer. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

The Cure – June 17, 2016

Fri, Jun 17, 2016

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

The Cure
Daily Devotion – June 17, 2016

Devotion based on John 14:6
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160617dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

A doctor says to his patient, “The bad news is you have a terminal illness. Here’s the good news: this disease is easily cured. You only need to spend time in the sun.”

The patient responds, “That sounds too simplistic. I read on the internet that people with my symptoms improved after taking this expensive medication. Another website mentioned a surgical procedure that helped. One online expert suggested a strenuous routine of diet and exercise.”

The doctor replies, “Sir, I studied this illness in medical school. I specialize in treating it. Look at my credentials. I’ve successfully treated hundreds of patients. There is only one cure—the sun. Without it you will suffer a horrible end.”

The patient remains unconvinced. “That may be your truth, but it’s not mine. I sincerely believe that if I go on living my life in the dark, I’ll get better eventually.”

Which individual is misguided and narrow-minded—the patient or the practitioner?
Everyone is born with a terminal disease called “sin.” It is futile to think we can diagnose and cure sin ourselves. It is dangerous to believe we can go on living as if nothing is wrong. No matter how sincerely we trust popular ways of dealing with sin, they lead to a dead end. They cannot give us the sinless life that God desires. Neither can they deliver us from death.

The only cure for sin is the Son. Only Jesus has the credentials to offer mankind a cure. As our substitute, he lived and died under God’s holy demands. As a man who is also God, he offered his sinless life and innocent death as the universal remedy for sin. This remedy’s power is certified by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead!

Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” His words are not arrogant, misguided or narrow-minded. They are a gracious invitation to all. The cure is yours. It’s free. Enjoy forgiveness for your sins and the guarantee of a future—unending life free of sin and all its side-effects. Trust in Jesus! You won’t regret it.

Prayer:
Jesus, I trust in you as my Savior from sin and death. Lead me and keep me on the path to eternal life. Amen.

This month we give our attention to Jesus’ “I AM” statements on each Thursday and Friday. For previous devotions in this series, go here.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

An Important Question – June 16, 2016

Thu, Jun 16, 2016

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:25-26

An Important Question
Daily Devotion – June 16, 2016

Devotion based on John 11:25-26
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160616dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

“Do you believe this?” Many in this world maintain that it does not matter how you answer Jesus’ question. In fact, many say that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe in something. Others will say that what you believe is good for you and what they believe is good for them—to each his own. We live in a world that downplays absolute truth and rejects the idea that there can be any definitive answers about what happens after we die. For a time, people are content to put off thinking about Jesus’ question.

But there are times in life when it becomes clear that Jesus’ question demands an answer. Times that demand knowing the right answer. Times like when you are in lying in the hospital bed not knowing whether or not you will recover from surgery. Times like when you are in the waiting room hoping that the doctors can somehow save your loved one. Times like when you are sitting with a friend in the funeral home as she mourns the loss of a loved one. At times like those, Jesus asks us the question: “Do you believe this?”

Jesus made quite a bold claim before he asked that all important question. He said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” Jesus offers what no one else can. He offers the answer to death. He offers forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven. He offers a chance to live with him now and forever. “Do you believe this?”

Jesus’ good friend Martha knew the answer to that question. Her brother had died, yet she found faith and hope in the words of Jesus. Martha believed in her Lord and trusted in him. She knew the answer to his question. Do you?

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, I live in a world that downplays faith. Help me to believe your promise and to know that heaven is my home. In your mercy, grant that I will always know and believe that you are the resurrection and the life. Amen.

This month we give our attention to Jesus’ “I AM” statements on each Thursday and Friday. For previous devotions in this series, go here.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Forgiveness and Discipline – June 15, 2016

Wed, Jun 15, 2016

When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.

The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! … Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die.” After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. … On the seventh day the child died.
2 Samuel 11:26-12:7,13-15,18

Forgiveness and Discipline
Daily Devotion – June 15, 2016

Devotion based on 2 Samuel 11:26-12:7,13-15,18
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160615dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

I’m so sorry,” the girl said to her father after confessing that she had taken money out of his wallet. “I forgive you and Jesus forgives you,” the father replied. “But you still have to repay the money you stole and you’re grounded for the rest of the month.”

“I have sinned against the Lord,” King David said when he was confronted with his sins of adultery and murder. “The Lord has taken away your sin,” the prophet Nathan responded. “But because by your actions you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, your son is going to die.”

“Please forgive me,” you say to your friend after admitting how badly you have treated her. “I forgive you and God has forgiven you,” she says. “But it will be a long time before I’m able to trust you again.”

If the girl was forgiven, why did her father still ground her? If David was forgiven, why did his son still die? If our sins are forgiven, why do we still suffer consequences as a result of our sins? Didn’t Jesus suffer the punishment for all our sins on the cross? Yes, he did. When Jesus hung on the cross, he suffered every last bit of the eternal punishment that all people deserve because of their sins. For Jesus’ sake, God has completely forgiven all people of all their sins. He completely forgave the girl who stole from her father. He completely forgave David. He has completely forgiven you. In Christ, God has taken away all the eternal punishment you deserve for your sins.

Yet, God’s love for us doesn’t stop with just taking away the punishment for our sins. He also loves us enough to do what is necessary to keep us from wandering away from him again. And so, he lovingly disciplines us. Often he will allow us to suffer hardship as a result of the sins we have committed so that we learn the importance of staying close to him. This discipline is not fun. Often it hurts a lot. But in no way does it mean that we’re not forgiven. Instead, it shows the lengths our loving God is willing to go in order to keep us close to him.

So, when you confess your sin and are told, “You are forgiven,” believe it. In Jesus, you are forgiven. Rejoice in that forgiveness, even as you experience the Lord’s discipline. For the Lord’s discipline is not evidence of your heavenly Father’s anger. Rather it is even more evidence of just how much he loves you.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, may I always rejoice in both your forgiveness and your discipline, for in both I see your boundless love for me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

The Trip – June 14, 2016

Tue, Jun 14, 2016

I do not set aside the grace of God.
Galatians 2:21

The Trip
Daily Devotion – June 14, 2016

Devotion based on Galatians 2:21
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160614dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Not long ago, a Christian author by the name of Timothy Jones and his wife, Rayann, decided to take their family to Disney World. This trip would include their newly-adopted, 8-year old daughter. The trip would also become a picture of God’s grace.

Here’s some background. Before her adoption into the Jones family, the 8-year old girl had come to believe that anyone’s love for her depended entirely upon her own, personal behavior. In her mind, if she didn’t behave well enough, no one would love her. Eight years of this had driven her into a quiet despair when it came to the idea of fitting into a family.

And so when her new mom and dad announced that the family would be going to Disney World, the 8-year old reacted in a disturbing way. She began to misbehave. Each time, however, her new mom and dad would exercise patient discipline. They would see to it that each episode was resolved, and they would assure their daughter that they loved her. Then they would move on.

Not long before the family was to leave on their trip, the daughter misbehaved yet again. As her new dad placed her on his lap to talk to her, she said, “I know what you’re going to do. You’re not going to take me to Disney World, are you?”

Her new father’s response was a pivot point. He asked her, “Is this trip something we’re doing as a family?” She nodded yes. “Are you part of this family?” Again, she nodded yes. “Then you’re going with us,” he said.

Fast forward to the end of their first day at Disney World. A different little girl has emerged. Her episodes of rebellion have faded. At bedtime she unburdens herself in words few in number but packed with meaning. “Daddy,” she says, “I finally got to go to Disney World. But it wasn’t because I was good; it’s because I’m yours.”

It wasn’t because I was good; it’s because I’m yours.

Through faith in Jesus as our Savior, that is the security you and I possess in God’s forgiveness. That is the radical nature of God’s grace—his undeserved love for you and me. And that is what empowers us to live for him.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, my whole relationship with you rests entirely upon your grace for me through faith in your Son. I am yours. You are mine. Thank you. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Jesus Speaks to Sinners – June 13, 2016

Mon, Jun 13, 2016

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Luke 7:50

Jesus Speaks to Sinners
Daily Devotion – June 13, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 7:50
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160613dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Two people desperately needed to hear what Jesus had to say to them. One would reluctantly listen. The other would relish every word Jesus spoke. As I consider both of these responses, I need to ask myself, “How will I respond when Jesus speaks to me, a sinner?”

From Scripture it is clear Jesus came to “seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). The message he speaks to sinners is truly precious. It gives hope to the hopeless. It offers comfort for the lost. It provides compassion for the broken-hearted. At the same time, Jesus also justly judges the stubborn and self-righteous heart.

Jesus spoke to just such a person—Simon the Pharisee who had invited him to dinner. Simon was arrogant, judgmental, and a horrible host. Now, Jesus doesn’t take him to task for his lack of hospitality. He accuses Simon of having little love for him and the precious gift he wanted to offer him.

In contrast, Jesus also spoke to the woman who was accused of being openly sinful. Unlike Simon, she was loving, worshipful, and completely humble. Jesus commended her for her great love, because it revealed her complete trust in him and his precious gift of salvation.

Jesus continues to speak to sinners of every generation in the same way. Either he will condemn them for their rejection, or he will commend them for their love. Which should I expect to hear?

If I try to rely on my own merits, my efforts and my accomplishments to secure favor with God, I and all my self-righteous works will be rejected. In contrast, if I rely on the merits, efforts, and accomplishments of Jesus, I am assured of God’s love and acceptance.

As I live my life in view of God’s just and uncompromising will, I come to know where I stand and what I deserve to hear. That is why I rely on the merits of Jesus Christ alone. Through faith in him I know where I will stand and what I will hear. They will be the same words Jesus spoke to the sinful woman—the same words he speaks to every sinner who relies completely on him for salvation: Your sins are forgiven. Faith has saved you. Go in peace.

Prayer:
O gracious Lord, let me cling to you and your precious work alone. If I try to rely on my works, correct and restore me. Bless me with the gift of faith which rejoices in your blessed assurance that my sins are forgiven. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

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A Promise Kept – June 12, 2016

Sun, Jun 12, 2016

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches…I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’”
Ezekiel 17:22-23,24c

A Promise Kept
Daily Devotion – June 12, 2016

Devotion based on Ezekiel 17:22-23,24c
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160612dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Have you ever made a promise and then broke it? That question gets personal when you think of the promises you have made to your spouse, your children or your best friend, and how many times you have let them down. That question gets more personal when you think of the promises you have made to God, and how many times you have failed him. It is one big reason we struggle with so much guilt.

Did you notice in the reading from Ezekiel how many promises your Sovereign Lord makes to you? He declares, “I myself will… I will… I will do it.” He promised to raise a small shoot into a great tree that would provide shelter and shade for all who nest in that tree. The small shoot that becomes a great tree is Jesus Christ, your Savior from all sin. The birds who nest in the tree are all the people who come to Jesus for rest from their guilt. The shade and shelter that the tree provides is the loving and merciful care that Jesus gives to you.

Now if you really want to see the impact of these words in Ezekiel, look at them this way: For every time you said “I will” to your Lord but didn’t, your Lord said “I will” to you and did. And you can see what he did on another tree. He died for you on the cross. From that tree, there is forgiveness for all your broken promises. From that tree, there is a promise kept that leads to eternal life.

Remain in Jesus.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, forgive me for my broken promises to you. Thank you for keeping your promise to me. Thank you for the refuge I have in Jesus. Amen.


This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

Your Eternal Home – June 11, 2016

Sat, Jun 11, 2016

Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
2 Corinthians 5:1

Your Eternal Home
Daily Devotion – June 11, 2016

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 5:1
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160611dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Human beings have constructed some amazing things over the course of time: the Great Pyramids in Egypt, the Coliseum in Rome, the Parthenon in Greece. Amazing structures!

And they’re all in ruins to one degree or another.

Finally, it doesn’t matter if it’s a grand palace or a simple home, though maintenance work is done, they still break down and eventually they go to ruins.

And so it goes with our human body—this “tent” in which we live. The body needs constant care, and yet it breaks down and will eventually go to ruins.

But you have an eternal house! You have heaven to anticipate, and there you will receive a glorious body which will never break down, which will never go to ruins! You have that “eternal house” because Jesus, your God, became your brother. He took for himself one of these “tents,” that is, one of these earthly bodies. He allowed his earthly body to be ruined by his suffering and death on a cross. For what reason? So that you could have an eternal house in heaven built by God, a house which will never break down, never go to ruins.

Prayer:
As my body breaks down, O Savior, remind me that I will have a glorious body when you take me to my eternal home. Focus me, O Savior, on that wonderful truth. In your name I pray it. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF

I am your Good Shepherd – June 10, 2016

Fri, Jun 10, 2016

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
John 10:11,14

I am your Good Shepherd
Daily Devotion – June 10, 2016

Devotion based on John 10:11,14
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160610dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Jesus says to you and to me: I am not your typical shepherd. I am not a hired hand that cares nothing for the sheep. I am not some fly-by-night outfit that will only care for you when it’s safe. I am not going to abandon my post—and you—and run when the wolves come.

No. I am the Good Shepherd. I am the Lord. I am the God who made you and cares for you and protects you. I am the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for you. But when I laid down my life, it was my choice, no tragic accident. It was my choice to lay down my life for you on the cross. I willingly gave up my life to take away your sin and to forgive your wandering ways. And it was my choice to take up my life again on the third day. I conquered death—mine and yours.

Now, nothing can separate you and me. Nothing can snatch you out of my hand. Follow me, listen to my voice, trust my promises. I will never fail you. I will never leave you. I will never let you go.

Don’t be afraid. I know you. I know your failings and sins, your regret and your shame. And I love you anyway. So much that I laid down my life for you. Now I live again. And I know your hurts and doubts, your pains and problems, your fears and worries. And if not even death can snatch you out of my hand, neither can that problem you have with your job…or your marriage…or your health…or your friend…or your past…or your future.

I am your Good Shepherd. I laid down my life for you. And took it up again. So you know: I won’t leave you now. Or ever.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, my dear Good Shepherd, with you I have all that I need. With you, my soul rests in peace. With you, my soul is restored and healed. With you, I am not afraid, even in the valley of the shadow of death. With you, goodness and love follow me all the days of my life, on my way to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Never let me go. Amen.

This month we give our attention to Jesus’ “I AM” statements on each Thursday and Friday. For previous devotions in this series, go here.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. 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. Print PDF