WELS Daily Devotions

Healing for the Hurting – August 25, 2016

Thu, Aug 25, 2016

One of [Jesus’ followers] struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
Luke 22:50-51

Healing for the Hurting
Daily Devotion – August 25, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 22:50-51
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160825dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

They had made up their minds about him. They had decided that he was only a man–not true God. They judged his big, bold claims about himself as lies, labeled him a fraud, and concluded Jesus was a bad man.

What in your life has whispered in your ear that God is not as good or powerful or wise as he claims? A broken, hungry, violent world? A crushed heart? Shattered dreams? Often, what we see and feel seems to be shouting in the world and whispering to our hearts that Jesus is not good, or perhaps not God.

When Jesus’ enemies came to arrest him, one of Jesus’ close friends swung a sword and cut off a man’s ear. Jesus reached out and did what none of them could do. With a loving, gentle touch, he healed the ear of the man who came to arrest him. They came to kill. Jesus healed.

Jesus helped those who were looking to hurt and kill him. Jesus is a good man. Jesus miraculously healed the man’s ear. Jesus is much more than just a man. Jesus is true God. Jesus showed that he was exactly who he claimed to be–the perfect Son of God. Jesus can be trusted.

God allows bad stuff into your life. The car breaks down, your job disappears, health is lost, or a relationship crumbles. Since he is good and he is God, what kinds of hurts can Jesus heal for you? He can heal any of your hurts, but this side of heaven he has not promised to heal all of your hurts. Sometimes he heals the problem. Sometimes he heals your heart. Sometimes he holds your hand and heart until he brings you home to heaven.

Jesus does promise healing now. Through the forgiveness he freely gives you, Jesus heals your relationship with God and gives peace to your heart. And, Jesus promises that one day those who trust in him will be given a home free from pain, sorrow and suffering. Jesus will give you complete and perfect healing of body, mind, heart and soul forever in heaven.

Trust Jesus. He is good. He is your God.

Prayer:
(Christian Worship – A Lutheran Hymnal: 446):

I am trusting you, Lord Jesus, Trusting only you,
Trusting you for full salvation, Free and true.

I am trusting you to guide me; You alone shall lead,
Ev’ry day and hour supplying All my need.

Devotions on Thursdays and Fridays this month focus on the Miracles of Jesus.

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 Future – August 24, 2016

Wed, Aug 24, 2016

“I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory. I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations…and to the islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the LORD—on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the LORD.
Isaiah 66:18-20

The Future
Daily Devotion – August 24, 2016

Devotion based on Isaiah 66:18-20
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160824dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Imagine if you were to go back in time to the year 1900 and you were asked to describe the future, it would be a challenge to describe advancements that would seem inconceivable to the people of that day. How far do you think you would get explaining a microwave oven or a cell phone? Would they be able to wrap their minds around air travel and a trip from London to New York City that would take under 7 hours? Imagine the looks on their faces when you explained a man landing on the moon!

This is the type of challenge Isaiah faced as he was sharing God’s plan for the future. It was almost impossible for the people to grasp what God had in store for them. The people of Isaiah’s time were about to go through one of the darkest times in their nation’s history. The prophet Isaiah warned the people that God was about to send them into captivity as a result of their repeated rebellious and sinful behavior. Their future seemed bleak at best.

As Isaiah closed his book of warnings and judgment, he offered hope. He pointed to a bright future that didn’t seem possible. God would disperse his people to the different nations of the world just as he warned, but this act of judgment would bring about an unexpected positive result. As God’s people went out into the world, he would use them to share his glory with all people.

Isaiah paints a picture of the return of the people that would be spectacular. The people left in disgrace—in chains, but they would return in triumph with wagons and chariots and animals and wealth. God would bless his people beyond their wildest expectations.

God also has blessing for you beyond what you can imagine. Even today it is a challenge to describe God’s glory. How can we as mortal people comprehend an enduring future that lasts for an eternity? Even now I struggle to put into words God’s great love for you. The best I can do is to point you to the cross of Jesus. It is there that God showed his ultimate love by securing your future with him.

Looking into the future and completely understanding what God has in store for us is impossible. But as we take time to meditate on his Word, he grows our faith and understanding of what he has done for us. One thing we can know for sure is that our future with God is bright. May this give you hope as you face the difficulties of each new day with confidence.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, show me your glory. Help me continue to grow in understanding of your love for me and your will for my life. Thank you for letting me look to the future with confidence. 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

A Mountaintop Experience – August 23, 2016

Tue, Aug 23, 2016

You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Hebrews 12:18-24

A Mountaintop Experience
Daily Devotion – August 23, 2016

Devotion based on Hebrews 12:18-24
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160823dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Go to church. If you figure out what’s going on there, it can be a mountaintop experience.

I’m not talking about the kind of church where they tell you how to be good enough to go to heaven. That kind of church is scary, because deep down, you know you will never be that perfect, no matter how hard you try. When you go to that kind of church, it is like approaching Mount Sinai, where God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. That was terrifying.

I’m talking about the kind of church where you hear the good news that Jesus is your Savior, no matter how sinful you are. That kind of church is like the mountain in Jerusalem where the temple was built by Solomon, where animals were sacrificed as a picture of the sacrifice that Jesus would be once for all on the cross. At that kind of church you worship with people who are declared perfectly righteous through faith in Jesus. At that kind of church, even if you worship with only a few people, you are also worshipping with the angels whose songs you will hear fully when you go to heaven.

And won’t that be a mountaintop experience? Until then, go to church, and enjoy a little taste of it.

Prayer:
Lord, lead me to rejoice whenever I go to your house. 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 Narrow Door Stands Wide Open – August 22, 2016

Mon, Aug 22, 2016

Someone asked [Jesus], “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”
Luke 13:23-24

The Narrow Door Stands Wide Open
Daily Devotion – August 22, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 13:23-24
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160822dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

“Is the door to heaven open for someone like me?” The gospel knocks at your heart’s door with the unconditional answer, “Yes!” Jesus not only provides the door to heaven, he is the door to heaven. Your complete confidence rests in Christ, who lived perfectly, died innocently and rose triumphantly for you. Through faith in Jesus, you can be assured that nothing bars the door of heaven.

Because Jesus has given us this gracious promise, he wants nothing to deter us from entering the open door. Jesus tells us to “make every effort to enter through the narrow door.” Our entry through the door to heaven is not something we earn—it is a gift of God’s great love. But Jesus warns us that entry to heaven can be lost if we treat our sins with careless indifference.

Through the law, the Lord lovingly leads our hearts to recognize the guilt of our sin. He calls us to repent of our pride which seeks to find a way to heaven other than the narrow door Jesus has provided by his grace. The gospel gives our hearts the peace to know we are forgiven, and the inner strength to follow God and his will.

The door to heaven is not yet shut. It is not too late. It remains wide open to all who receive the Savior’s gospel invitation to believe in him. Faithfully follow him who poured out his heart in determined love for you so that you are able to freely enter the door to eternal paradise.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for providing the door of your divine grace so that I am assured that I will be with you in heaven. Move my heart to live each day for you, 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

I Quit! – August 21, 2016

Sun, Aug 21, 2016

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
John 6:66

I Quit!
Daily Devotion – August 21, 2016

Devotion based on John 6:66
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160821dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Fred was fed up. The last demand was too much. He stormed into his supervisor’s office and said, “I quit!” Once the initial shock wore off, the supervisor collected his thoughts and asked, “What brought this on?” Years of pent up frustration poured from Fred like water through a broken dam. His supervisor tried to diffuse Fred’s emotions and dissuade him from doing something so rash. Fred was undeterred, and he maintained his position. “I quit!”

I quit! While they are words I would prefer not to use, they are usually held in ready reserve. When a challenge becomes insurmountable, or when a problem becomes irresolvable, or when a task seems too daunting, “I quit!” becomes a reasonable solution and provides a small sense of satisfaction.

I quit! This was the response of many of Jesus’ disciples. They yearned for his miracles. They relished his teaching. They even delighted in Jesus’ gentle leadership. However, when Jesus began to explain the high cost of discipleship in more detail, many were drawn to the same conclusion.

I quit! While it may be a quick and easy solution, should it be the response I offer my Lord and Savior? Certainly there will be challenging times as I follow him. I will experience rejection. I will experience persecution. I will even experience frustration caused by the world and the weakness of my sinful flesh. What makes each of these worse is they will be used by the devil to lead me to an incorrect conclusion.

I quit! While my sinful, weak flesh may relish the thought of severing my relationship with Jesus, the new creation in me needs to remain in control. That new creation brought about by Jesus’ precious sacrifice and the work of the Holy Spirit through the gospel gives me the resolve I need not to quit. I see my Savior’s strength as my strength to overcome temptation. I see my Savior’s perseverance as my perseverance to endure all things. I see my Savior’s faithfulness as my faithfulness to support me through every struggle.

I quit! Although many decided Jesus wasn’t right for them, through faith I have come to a different conclusion. Because of all he has done for me, and continues to do for me, my response is this: Savior, lead; I follow you.

Prayer:
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 473):
Savior I follow on, guided by thee,
Seeing not yet the hand that leadeth me.
Hushed be my heart and still; fear I no further ill.
Only to meet thy will my will shall be.

Savior, I long to walk closer with thee;
Led by thy guiding hand, ever to be
Constantly near thy side, quickened and purified,
Living for him who died freely for me.

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

Death is Going to Die – August 20, 2016

Sat, Aug 20, 2016

The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:26

Death is Going to Die
Daily Devotion – August 20, 2016

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 15:26
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160820dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

I remember it vividly. I was listening to the radio. The song that was on was not a familiar one, but suddenly one line from the song did something I did not expect. The singer sang how he wished it were once again 1985, where all the ones he loved were still alive. With that one line I abruptly found myself back in 1985, sitting at the large table in my parents’ kitchen. Surrounding me were those members of my family who have long since died. They were happy, healthy, laughing and smiling as they had always been. And oh, how I missed them.

That’s the hard thing about death. One by one it takes away the people you love. The longer you live, the worse it gets. And when it comes to the death of someone extremely close to you, you never completely get over it. Such a death is going to leave a mark, a scar. That’s just the way it is. That’s what it means for sinful people to live in a sinful world. Everything dies. And everyone.

But then along comes Jesus. Along comes his empty tomb. Along comes his resurrection from the dead to declare that death no longer has the final word. In fact, because our Savior has paid the ransom for our sin, even the deaths we endure in this world will soon cease to be. When Jesus returns, death itself will die. Death will be destroyed. A time is coming when the heavy hurt of death will not even be a memory. Instead, there will only be joy, laughter, victory, celebration. And these will last forever. Jesus says so.

Maybe you’re hurting now because of a recent death. Or maybe you’re hurting from a death of long ago. It’s okay to feel the hurt. Just remember. Jesus lives. Those who die in the Lord will live forever. And death is going to die.

Prayer:
Living Lord, when death touches my life, remind me that death does not have the last word. You do. 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

Limitless – August 19, 2016

Fri, Aug 19, 2016

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
John 11:38-44

Limitless
Daily Devotion – August 19, 2016

Devotion based on John 11:38-44
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160819dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

We all deal with limits. There are limitations to our abilities. As much as try, we cannot go beyond our finite natures. We can keep on developing more and better technologies, but they will soon prove their need for update and change because they have reached the limits of their capacity. We can make better and bigger machines to improve the way we get things done, but one day they too will prove inadequate and have to be replaced. We can push ourselves physically to go faster and harder and farther, but finally there is a limit to what we can do. We can pursue our mind’s quest for greater knowledge, but ultimately we come to the realization that the more we learn, the more we need to learn. We strive many ways to live longer, but the truth is that there is a set limit to our life on this earth. All the graves in cemeteries are signs of that serious limitation.

We are limited, but Jesus is not. He is God who is limitless in his power and abilities. Even death is not a limit for him. His commanding voice demanded that death release its grip on Lazarus–and it did!

There is no limit to Jesus’ love. He loved us in such a limitless way that he surrendered himself to death and the grave for us. But death could not hold him. He came out of the grave; he rose from the dead to prove that he is almighty God. By his resurrection he assures us that he is limitless in his love for us as our living Savior.

One day in the future he will shout again “Come out!” and graves will lose their limited grip. Jesus promised, “Because I live, you also with live.” Only the Son of God has the limitless ability to accomplish what he said. Count on it and you will see the glory of God!

Prayer:
Jesus, strengthen my faith in you as my living Lord and loving Savior. Fill me with the confidence that you are limitless in your power and love, and assure me with your promise that you will raise me from death to live with you forever. Amen.

The devotions for Thursdays and Fridays this month focus on the Miracles of Jesus.

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

100 Percent – August 18, 2016

Thu, Aug 18, 2016

On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Luke 17:11-19

100 Percent
Daily Devotion – August 18, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 17:11-19
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160818dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Can you imagine being very sick and not being allowed to hug or see your friends and family?

Jesus saw a group of men in desperate need of help. They were outcasts from society because they were afflicted with a horrible skin disease. They were barred from interacting with any healthy person or community.

In mercy, Jesus sent the group of ten sick men to go and see the priests (who also functioned as the public health officials.) On their way, their sick skin was restored to health. Their disease disappeared. Jesus had miraculously healed them. 100% of them were 100% healed.

Jesus healed many physically sick people. More importantly, Jesus provides spiritual healing for sinners. Jesus taught this when he said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Matthew 9:12). Our fear, doubts, hate, jealousy, sinful words and actions are all symptoms that we are “the sick.” Without Jesus, 100% of us are 100% sick.

Jesus provides healing. Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, wrote: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus provides 100% healing to 100% of sinners. To me. To you.

Can you imagine being one of those ten men whom Jesus healed? You could go home, see the smile on your loved ones faces, and throw your arms around them in joy!

Ten were healed. One of the ten thought to return in praise and thanks. Jesus’ 100% gift received a 10% return of thanks. We wonder—where were the other nine?

Can you imagine seeing God’s smiling face and feeling his arms wrapped around you in a loving hug? You don’t need to imagine. Jesus has healed your heart and your relationship with God. Your life will not end in death, but in a perfect eternal life.

We pray our hearts and lives echo the response of the man who returned to thank Jesus—praise and thanks with 100% of our hearts and lives. And, why? Jesus provides 100% healing.

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for providing 100% healing of my heart and my relationship with God. Give me confidence and joy in your forgiveness and my eternal home in heaven. Fill my heart and life with praise and thanks for all that you do for me. Amen.

Devotions on Thursdays and Fridays for July focus on the Miracles of Jesus.

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

Caught in Our “Secret Places” – August 17, 2016

Wed, Aug 17, 2016

“Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 23:24

Caught in Our “Secret Places”
Daily Devotion – August 17, 2016

Devotion based on Jeremiah 23:24
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160817dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

It was early evening at the birthday party. The adults were seated around the fire pit absorbed in conversation. The youngsters were playing Hide and Seek. One of the boys saw a perfect place to hide. The going-on-6-years-old climbed into an outdoor toy chest that was made to double as a bench. It was his secret place! Nobody would find him there!

One of the adults saw the youngster executing his plan and casually took a seat on that bench. “Help! Help!” came the voice from the toy chest. “I’m trapped.”

Do you have “secret places” where you think no one sees you? Is it an internet “toy box,” a developing addiction to that prescription, or a place in the recesses of your mind? Countless individuals are getting trapped in such secret places. Sinful human beings get caught in Satan’s subtle snares as he whispers, “No one will find you there.”

Before you ever went there, however, you were caught! “‘Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the Lord.”

The all-knowing, ever-present Triune God of the Bible proclaims an indisputable warning, but also an awesome comfort. God always knows, always sees! Don’t try to hide anything from him.

“Devil” means “liar,” “for he is a liar and the father of lies,” said Jesus (John 8:44). Don’t believe Satan’s lies! Don’t lie to yourself. Admit your sins to God, asking for forgiveness and help. He’s always present to help. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.

If right now you are caught in one of your secret places of guilt or sadness or depression, if you are overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the “liar” says, “No one will find you. No one cares.” Wrong! God cares so much that he sent his son Jesus to save you, winning forgiveness for all your sins. God cares so much that he promises his help and blessing through the truths of Scripture. And he gives us people in our lives to be a blessing to us. Don’t hide.

Prayer:
Gracious God, when I am tempted to hide, seek me with your mercy and power, forgiving and helping me for Jesus’ sake. 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

Discipline – August 16, 2016

Tue, Aug 16, 2016

You have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline) then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:5-11

Discipline
Daily Devotion – August 16, 2016

Devotion based on Hebrews 12:5-11
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160816dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

It is not my job to discipline other people’s children in the grocery store. When someone else’s children throw their tantrums in front of the candy displays at the checkout line, it would be out of line for me to step in.

If it is my own child, however, I am right there. I want him to know how to ask for something appropriately, in public and in private. I want him to learn how to accept “no” as an answer. I know what is best for my son, and I love him enough to take the time and teach him.

God knows what is best for us, and he loves us enough to say “no” to some of our prayers. It may not seem pleasant at the time, but he knows what we can handle, and will never let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.

God does not say “no” to punish us. Instead, God has proven his love for us by punishing his own Son, Jesus, for our sins when Jesus died on the cross. Because Jesus suffered hell in our place, we share in his holiness through faith.

Prayer:
Lord God, give me the patience to endure it when you discipline me for my good. Remind me of your love and help me to live as your child through faith in Jesus. 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

Peace on Earth? – August 15, 2016

Mon, Aug 15, 2016

“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.”
Luke 12:49-51

Peace on Earth?
Daily Devotion – August 15, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 12:49-51
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160815dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Didn’t Jesus come to earth to bring peace? Didn’t the angels sing of “peace on earth” when the Savior was born in Bethlehem? Didn’t Jesus declare his peace to his disciples after he rose from the dead?

Yes, Jesus certainly won unparalleled peace for all people! In order to win that peace, Jesus marched into war against sin, death, and hell. In the verses for our devotion today, Jesus describes the distressing mission to win our eternal deliverance. The Lord looked ahead to the torment and death that he alone would undergo for us. He willingly poured out his lifeblood on the cross to win eternal peace for guilty sinners.

Through Jesus’ perfect life and selfless suffering and death, believers have the peace of God. They are filled with a faith kindled by the Holy Spirit. Their transformed hearts burn within them because of the gospel’s joyful news of peace with God. However, not everyone enjoys the peace Jesus freely won for them. Unbelievers search in vain for worldly peace, dousing the flame of faith extended to them through the gospel. They live as enemies of Jesus, despising the cross and the comfort Christ brings. Because of their rejection of Jesus’ gift of peace, the fire of God’s just judgment awaits them.

Because of humanity’s sin, Jesus’ beautiful gospel message of eternal peace will cause division in this world. Believers will face rejection and ridicule by neighbors, friends and even family members. It is a temptation for believers to attempt to maintain peace in their relationships at all costs. Yet peace maintained at any price is not the purpose of Christ. In love, Jesus reminds his followers that loyalty to him counts more than all else.

Jesus has graciously given us a mission. Filled with Christ’s peace, we hear his call to proclaim his eternal gospel to others. When it appears the message falls on deaf ears, do not be discouraged. Jesus encourages us, “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me…” (Luke 10:16).

Our ultimate goal in sharing the gospel is that others may know of the peace Jesus won for them so that they may enjoy eternal peace with Jesus in heaven.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, thank you for giving me your everlasting peace. Give me confidence to proclaim your message of peace to others. 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

Knowledge Leads to Understanding – August 14, 2016

Sun, Aug 14, 2016

Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:9-10

Knowledge Leads to Understanding
Daily Devotion – August 14, 2016

Devotion based on Proverbs 9:9-10
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160814dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Throughout the United States schools are starting up again. People are searching for knowledge, from preschoolers who are beginning to learn their “A-B-C’s” to people pursuing their doctorates who are digging deeply into their fields of study.

And that’s good! In fact, the search for knowledge has been a hallmark of the world’s history.

Down through history people have been taught some pretty amazing things. Things like, “The world is flat.”

Yes. For hundreds of years people—really, really smart people—were taught that the world was flat, or taught others that the world was flat. Though they were really smart, they were completely wrong!

So, how many of the things which we’re being taught today are also incorrect? Indeed, there may be really smart people teaching us, or we may be the really smart people doing the teaching.

And we might be completely wrong.

BUT! We will NEVER be wrong when we are listening to the Word of God, because God will never lie to us. The God who created the world is the source of all wisdom. And that God loves you dearly! He loved you enough to go to the cross for you, to die for you, paying for your sins. He has given you the knowledge which really matters—the knowledge that the Triune God is the only true God, the knowledge that Jesus has forgiven your sins, the knowledge that you’re going to heaven by faith alone in your Savior. THAT knowledge will never be incorrect. THAT knowledge gives you the most important understanding you can have!

Prayer:
O Holy Spirit, fill me with the wisdom which you alone can give through the Word of God. In Jesus’ name I pray. 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

God’s Heart is Full of Love – August 13, 2016

Sat, Aug 13, 2016

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:15-20

God’s Heart is Full of Love
Daily Devotion – August 13, 2016

Devotion based on Ephesians 5:15-20
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160813dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

We’re really good at complaining: “My chicken sandwich is too spicy.” “This traffic light takes forever to change.” “The weather is too hot (or cold, dry, wet)!”

Is life really this bad? Is it so bad that God deserves an earful of complaints every day? God owes us nothing. Where do we get the right to complain when we deserve to have God shut us out from all good things?

OK, so I should thank him for his gifts. But thank him for everything? My injury? Losing my job? Higher food prices? Having to go back to school? Why should I thank him for these?

I thank God for everything because I know his heart. It doesn’t matter if the bills are greater than the paycheck can cover. It doesn’t matter if my summer is over way too fast. I thank God rather than complain because I know the heart of my heavenly Father. He was willing to withhold blessings from his own Son, Jesus, and give him over to death in order to pay for my constant complaining. He gave Jesus the punishment for sin that I deserved, so I will never find out what it feels like to be cut off from God’s love.

Jesus’ sacrifice shows me God’s heart, which means I can thank him for everything. I may not understand why he would take my wife of 38 years or why he would allow the front fender of my car to get smashed just when I made the last payment. But I know his heart is full of love for me. Whatever the Lord sends or allows in my life, he’ll use it to help me.

Knowing his heart, I can thank God for everything.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for the good and the bad in my life. Give me strength to bear with the bad and a heart of thanks to enjoy the good. 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

A Higher Purpose – August 12, 2016

Fri, Aug 12, 2016

As [Jesus] went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
John 9:1-7

A Higher Purpose
Daily Devotion – August 12, 2016

Devotion based on John 9:1-7
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160812dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Perhaps the favorite question we human beings like to ask is “Why?” A four-year-old asks his parents, “Why is the grass green? Why do I have to eat my vegetables? Why can’t I just play all the time?” As we get older we still ask “why”, but the questions get more complicated. “Why can’t anything go my way? Why is God letting this happen to me?”

We want to know “why” especially when life gets tough. So we go searching for answers. Our sinful, limited minds often take us to the seemingly logical conclusion that if something bad happens to us, then it must be because we did something to upset God. We sinned, and now he is dishing out some divine retribution on us. That line of thinking presents two big problems: 1 – It presumes that our infinite and all-wise God can be figured out by finite creatures. 2 – It minimizes or totally ignores his merciful love.

When Jesus and his disciples met a man born blind, they asked Jesus whether the blind man or his parents sinned. They thought that his blindness must have been the result of God punishing either him or his parents for some sin.

But Jesus taught his disciples that there was a higher purpose to this man’s blindness. He said, “This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” That man was born blind so that on that day, Jesus could display his power as the Son of God by making this blind man see. More importantly, later in John chapter 9 we learn that this man was brought to faith in Jesus. God used the man’s condition as an opportunity to open his eyes to see Jesus as his Savior. In this way, God shows his believers that he truly is at work for their eternal good even and especially in hardship.

Are you facing trial and trouble? Have you wondered why God is letting those things happen to you? Have you thought that he is punishing you? He is not. All the sins of the world have already been punished in Christ on the cross. Your sins are forgiven through faith in Jesus alone. When he allows trouble and hardship to come into your life, he has a higher purpose: to display his work in your life, to work everything for your eternal good.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when I face hardship, help me to trust that you will work through it for my eternal good. Forgive me for my doubts and despair. Strengthen my faith in you and bring me at last to heaven. Amen.

Devotions on Thursdays and Fridays this month focus on the Miracles of Jesus.

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

Refocus on Jesus – August 11, 2016

Thu, Aug 11, 2016

Some people brought to [Jesus] a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man. After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
Mark 7:32-37

Refocus on Jesus
Daily Devotion – August 11, 2016

Devotion based on Mark 7:32-37
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160811dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Jesus could have just healed this man. But first he took him aside, away from the crowd. Jesus then went through some motions–putting his fingers into the man’s ears, touching his tongue–kind of play-acting for the man what was about to happen. Then, after all that, Jesus worked the miracle, and the man’s ears were opened and he became able to speak plainly.

For what reasons might Jesus have done it the way he did? First, perhaps Jesus’ actions calmed the man down. Imagine how you would feel if you couldn’t hear or talk hardly at all, and suddenly a crowd of people hustles you to a man you never met? Might you feel some degree of anxiety? I imagine I would! Perhaps that deaf man who could barely speak was feeling that way, too, and by taking him aside, Jesus was calming him.

But perhaps even more, it seems that Jesus is focusing this man’s attention on him: “I am the One who will do this for you; no one else can do it. Focus on me.”

That is a focus which you and I need on a day-to-day basis. How easily our eyes stray from Jesus! How much we need him to refocus us!

Thankfully, he does that for us. Every time we hear the Word, every time we come to the Lord’s Supper, God is dealing directly with each of us. Each time we read the Bible, God refocuses our attention on Jesus and his love. It’s as if God were taking us aside so that we can set aside the worries of this world and focus on the love of God.

And then our anxiety is calmed, and Jesus’ peace takes its place.

Prayer:
O Savior, refocus me! Show me your love, that my anxiety might be driven far away. In your name I pray. Amen.

The devotions for Thursdays and Fridays this month focus on the Miracles of Jesus.

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

Faith Credited as Righteousness – August 10, 2016

Wed, Aug 10, 2016

The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Genesis 15:1-6

Faith Credited as Righteousness
Daily Devotion – August 10, 2016

Devotion based on Genesis 15:1-6
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160810dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

The name Abram means “exalted father.” The irony was probably not lost on him when he was over eighty years old and still childless. Especially since many years earlier God himself had promised to make his offspring into a great nation. And what’s more, Abram was assured that one of those future descendants would be the long-awaited Savior of mankind. Still, here he was an old man without a single child to his name.

But Abram was a man of action. (Just read in Genesis 14 how he mounted a rescue of his nephew Lot who had been captured by a coalition of four kings!) So Abram had already hatched a plan to deal with his childlessness: his servant Eliezer would be his heir.

You and I can hardly point an accusing finger at Abram. After all, our hearts have harbored many of our own doubts regarding God’s promises. We have falsely believed that our lives were in our own hands, that we controlled our own future.

What a patient God we have! Instead of abandoning us to our doubts and an uncertain destiny, he graciously repeats his promises. God assured the childless old man that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars visible in the night sky. And God assures sinners like us that all his promises of forgiveness have been kept in his Son Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus truly is our shield and very great reward. Although we are sinful, Jesus credits his own righteousness to us through faith in him. Although we have little in this world, Jesus is our eternal treasure that waits for us in heaven.

Prayer:
Lord God, I have no righteousness of my own to stand before you. But I believe you when you promised to forgive my sins for the sake of Jesus. Let his holiness be credited to me, as you have said. 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

Away From Home – August 9, 2016

Tue, Aug 09, 2016

They admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
Hebrews 11:13

Away From Home
Daily Devotion – August 9, 2016

Devotion based on Hebrews 11:13
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160809dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Not long ago, The Huffington Post published a blog from a woman by the name of Kathleen Peddicord. For the past several years, Kathleen and her family have lived in various parts of the world, far away from their home in the United States. Living away from home has taught her some things. Here are a few of them.

For one, she has learned to be okay with all kinds of uncertainties. She writes, “Will the corner grocer open his shop at 9 am as his sign indicates…or will he open later…or at all? Will the banker cash my check or [as often happens] question the signature? And will the car in front of mine turn right from the right turn lane, or will he turn left across two lanes of traffic?” She has learned to make peace with these and more.

For another, she has learned to rethink her need for a lot of material things. When her family first moved overseas, they went from a sprawling home to a tiny apartment. As they’ve moved from place to place, they’ve had to keep the number of their possessions small. As a result, she’s grown to be content with far less.

Finally, she has learned to savor moments of delight. For her, it’s been to watch her 5-year-old tasting a delicious food for the first time. It’s been to see a flock of sheep grazing beneath her bedroom window. It’s been to rock in an old rocking chair on an old porch overlooking an old, old city. When life far from home involves so many uncertainties and struggles, moments of discovery and joy are even sweeter.

As Christians, you and I have much in common with Kathleen. We know we are simply travelers on this earth. We know that heaven is our home. We know that the Savior who washed us clean of our every sin is also the One who empowers us to understand the true nature of our surroundings. As a result, we too can be okay with life’s uncertainties. We too can be content with little. And we too can savor every moment of God’s grace.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, as I travel through this life, remind me that my surroundings and my circumstances are temporary. Your promises, however, are eternal. And I am coming home 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

Be Ready – August 8, 2016

Mon, Aug 08, 2016

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men (servants) waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”
Luke 12:35

Be Ready
Daily Devotion – August 8, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 12:35
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160808dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

“Come on! We have to leave now!” It was easy to hear the exasperation in Mary’s voice. Unfortunately, her urgent call was falling on deaf ears. Both her husband and children were content to continue what they were doing instead of getting ready to leave.

Jesus offers a similar warning. He tells his disciples, “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.” There is an urgency in his call. He wants them to be ready at all times. It is a call to which I must listen.

It is easy to think there is always more time. I can put my enjoyment, my personal preferences, and my pursuits first, because I think that spiritual matters can wait. This is one of the devil’s most effective temptations. It is also one which regularly traps me. This is why Jesus’ urgent warning is so important.

The picture Jesus offers may strike me as unusual, but it is effective. “To be dressed ready for service and keep my lamp burning” implies a specific readiness. It is a readiness which prepares me to welcome my Savior at any moment. If he comes quickly, I am ready. If he delays, I am still ready. Regardless of when he comes I will never assume I have more time.

This readiness can only come through a life centered on God’s Word. It is that Word of Truth which makes me his servant. It also equips me to serve. It even encourages me to serve daily, faithfully, and joyfully.

Still, there will be times when I struggle. There will be times, too, when I grumble and complain. This is when I need to look at what my Savior accomplished for me through his undeserved love and devoted service. By focusing on what he has done for me, I can fight the temptation to put off serving him. I can also be ready to welcome him whenever he comes.

Prayer:
O gracious Lord, you have made me your servant. Keep me faithful and faithfully serving so that I will always be ready for the time when you return. 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

Are You Connected with God? – August 7, 2016

Sun, Aug 07, 2016

The Jews began to grumble about Jesus because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.”
John 6:41-47

Are You Connected with God?
Daily Devotion – August 7, 2016

Devotion based on John 6:41-47
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160807dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Find God within. Find God in nature. Find God through meditation. Our society is filled with thoughts and ideas of how to connect with God. Inside each individual, whether they acknowledge it or not, is the desire to know God. But how? God seems so distant, so elusive, so intangible that to really connect with God…is that possible?

The confusion is not recent. The words of John 6:42 indicate that individuals at Jesus’ time were confused when they saw Jesus and knew he grew up in the family of Joseph, yet he claimed to come from heaven…from God. How could a human being make this claim? Because he wasn’t just a human being! He was God. As the angel Gabriel told Jesus’ mother Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Joseph was an earthly father figure, but Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father. This was a miracle of God that his Son became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ born of the virgin Mary.

So how do we connect with God? We connect with Jesus Christ. We connect with his words and his teaching. As Jesus said, “It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.” This is a connection you don’t want to miss! For whoever connects with God through Jesus Christ and believes in him, is the person who will enjoy heaven forever.

We can enjoy God’s creation in nature. We can focus our minds through meditation. But ONLY through Jesus Christ can we truly connect with the one and only true God.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming from heaven to live, die and rise again for me. Come to me to through your Word to connect me with you, my Saving God, forever. 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

Keep Your Focus on the Cross – August 6, 2016

Sat, Aug 06, 2016

Elijah came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
1 Kings 19:4-8

Keep Your Focus on the Cross
Daily Devotion – August 6, 2016

Devotion based on 1 Kings 19:4-8
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160806dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Elijah’s crisis is understandable. You can feel a fraction of his frustration if you’ve been working through the entire summer without a break. You have to suffer through co-workers’ vacation pictures. They come back spinning exciting tales of adventure or relaxation while you were shouldering an added burden of work in their absence. Kind of makes you want to give up.

You have a sense of Elijah’s pain if you have struggled yourself. You watch loved ones suffer through painful sickness. You sit helplessly as friends give in to addiction or watch in horror as their marriages crumble. Unemployment and financial ruin strike too close to home. You aren’t immune from Elijah’s feelings of just wanting to give up.

But Elijah’s despair, and ours, comes from a lack of focus. He was fixated on his feelings, not reality. He had just been an eyewitness and a participant in God’s victory over the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, overcoming 400 to 1 odds! Onlookers acknowledged the power and supremacy of the true God (1 Kings 18).

So God had to come to Elijah personally to encourage and strengthen him. God does the same thing for you today by fixing your gaze on the cross of Jesus. By his cross and empty grave Jesus proclaimed victory over your enemies of sin and death. His deliverance comes to you personally through his word. Focus on the reality of Christ’s victory. Focus on his cross whenever you are feeling like Elijah. Focus on Christ’s powerful victory over sin and death whenever you are ready to give up.

Prayer:
Dear Savior, whenever I am weak and discouraged, help me turn in trust to you. Cause my eyes of faith to find deliverance and strength in your victory. 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