WELS Daily Devotions

The Bible’s Clear and Pure Gospel – May 31, 2016

14 hours 52 mi

Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—and all the brothers with me, to the churches in Galatia: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:1-10

The Bible’s Clear and Pure Gospel
Daily Devotion – May 31, 2016

Devotion based on Galatians 1:1-10
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160531dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

I found myself sitting in the apartment of two elders from another church. I showed them a simple Bible passage that demonstrated that their holy book is not true, their church is not true, and the founder of their church is not a prophet. They could see right away that the Bible passage proved those things. It did not need somehow to be interpreted. It was simply the truth that Jesus has made us perfect and holy through the sacrifice of his body once and for all on the cross.

One of the young men closed the Bible from which he had read the verse, looked up, and said to me, “Are you trying to say that one man with the Bible can be smarter than a whole church?” “Yes,” I answered. “Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. Don’t believe them. Believe instead what the Bible clearly says.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you have given me grace and peace. Rescue me from this present evil age, and help me cling to your clear and pure gospel. 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

Knowing to Whom You are Speaking! – May 30, 2016

Mon, May 30, 2016

[Jesus] was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
Luke 7:6-8

Knowing to Whom You are Speaking!
Daily Devotion – May 30, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 7:6-8
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160530dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Military people understand “orders.” “Yes, sir!” “Yes, ma’am!” are followed by a salute. Military people know to whom they are speaking because of rank. The Roman centurion at Capernaum was a military man, commander of 100 soldiers. But he was something more. He was a believer! Extraordinarily generous, he built a Jewish synagogue in Capernaum. He obviously knew about Jesus’ miracles. He already trusted Jesus’ power to answer his request, if the Lord, according to his wisdom and purposes, was willing.

Yet he did not approach Jesus directly. He asked local church leaders, the elders of the Jews, to ask Jesus to heal his dying servant. And then, when Jesus indicated his willingness to help by setting out toward the centurion’s house, another messenger was sent.

Consider the centurion’s message to Jesus with particular application to your own prayers to God: “I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.”

That day his dying servant was totally healed without Jesus ever getting into the house.

So what do you learn from this? When you pray, remember to whom you’re speaking.

Yes, I am a sinner, coming to my holy God. I deserve nothing. But trusting in God’s love that moved him to send Jesus as my Savior, plus his wisdom and power, I can pray, “If it be your will, just give the order, Lord!” The answer won’t always be “yes.” The Lord’s wisdom may lead him to say “no,” or “wait for the best time.”

The confidence comes from knowing to whom you are speaking!

Prayer:
Gracious God and Father, help me confidently remember to whom I’m speaking whenever I pray 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

The Seed of God’s Word – May 29, 2016

Sun, May 29, 2016

Jesus said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.”
Mark 4:26-27

The Seed of God’s Word
Daily Devotion – May 29, 2016

Devotion based on Mark 4:26-27
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160529dev.mp3
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“I don’t know how that happened!” Every parent has heard that many, many times. Those words might be heard after a broken toy is discovered, after a sibling is in tears, or after a mysterious stain on the carpet shows up. And “nobody” knows how it happened.

But those words are not always shared because something bad has taken place. They might also be heard because a child just made their first basket, or tied their first shoe, or rode their first two-wheeler. In those contexts, the thought is, “I don’t know how that happened, but I’m really glad it did!”

That’s similar to the kingdom of God. In our verses today, Jesus compares the Word growing in the heart like seeds growing in the ground. They are planted. They sprout. They grow. They bear fruit. The farmer doesn’t control the growth of the crops just as the Christian doesn’t control the growth of the Word. But it happens, though the planter doesn’t know how.

There was an older, non-religious man who took a basic Bible doctrine course. After a few weeks of studying the Bible, the man said, “Pastor, I know that when I started this class, I was an unbeliever that didn’t know or care about God. I only came to this class because my wife made me. I always thought that if I ever decided I wanted to become a Christian, there would be a boom of thunder and a bolt of lightning–and then, at that point, I’d know that I was a Christian. Well, I know now that Jesus died for my sins, that he loves me forever, and that I am going to live in heaven eternally. I can’t wait to get there. And I love him, too. Things have changed a lot, and I know that now I am a Christian. But I don’t know how that happened! The Holy Spirit snuck it in there on me!”

Even though we don’t know how it happens, God causes the seed of his Word to sprout and grow in the hearts of people. He brings them to saving faith in Jesus, leads them through life as his followers, and fills them with eternal hope. That’s God’s loving will for you, too. Learn his Word. Come to know the love he has for you through Jesus and you also will say, “I don’t know how that happened, but I’m really glad it did!”

Prayer:
Whenever the precious seed is sown, life-giving grace bestow.
That all whose souls the truth receive, its saving power may know. 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

Lift up Your Eyes – May 28, 2016

Sat, May 28, 2016

We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

Lift up Your Eyes
Daily Devotion – May 28, 2016

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 4:18
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160528dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Two children decided to have a contest to see which of them could walk a straighter line through some new snow. The first child put his head down, concentrated on his feet, and began to walk forward. He thought he was doing well, but when he stopped and looked back, his line was crooked, meandering.

The second child then walked a line which was arrow-straight. He explained: “I saw the cross on top of the steeple, and I just kept walking straight towards it.”

The devil likes to get us to be like the first child, to get us to look down and focus solely on the things of this life—on our career, our finances, our relationships, our pleasure. And what often happens? We end up dissatisfied, for all of those things are temporary. They cannot give us the peace which we so desire.

But God CAN give us that peace because God and his love are eternal! God and his love last forever!

And so today, lift up your eyes! Focus on God and his eternal work! Focus on God and his love through Jesus! And as you walk forward, you will be walking straight towards eternal life!

Prayer:
O Holy Spirit, through your Word focus my attention on the eternal love of God through Jesus my Savior, that you might give me the peace which only you can give. 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 Lord’s Prayer – Seventh Petition – May 27, 2016

Fri, May 27, 2016

“‘But deliver us from the evil one.’”
Matthew 6:13b

The Lord’s Prayer – Seventh Petition
Daily Devotion – May 27, 2016

Devotion based on Matthew 6:13b
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160527dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Satan is the “evil one” that Jesus identifies in this petition of the Lord’s Prayer. He is the source of all the evil in this world which happens as a result of mankind’s fall into sin. That includes everything from destructive storms to devastating volcanoes, from bitter cold to blazing heat, from flash floods to disastrous droughts, from irritating insect bites to terminal illnesses, from verbal disputes to violent crimes, from minor injuries to fatal accidents, from job displeasures to job terminations, from family squabbles to family breakdowns, from everyday stress to nervous disorders, from all that does go wrong to all that could go wrong. Evil is all that plagues our bodies and shakes our souls. Evil is no respecter of persons; it comes to us all. As long as we live in this sinful world, evil will touch our lives often and sometimes in very bitter ways.

With hearts and lives wounded and scarred by the cutting edge of evil, we fervently pray in the concluding petition of the Lord’s Prayer for deliverance. Our heavenly Father is anxious to hear and answer this prayer. He delivers us from evil by either preventing it from happening to us or, if he allows it to touch our lives, making it work for our good. We cling to God’s sure promise recorded in Romans 8:28: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

It can be very disheartening to battle against Satan’s temptations and suffer the onslaught of his evil will while we wait here to enter heaven. Perhaps that’s why the early church concluded the Lord’s Prayer with a doxology: “For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever.” This reminds us that we are members of the Lord’s kingdom by faith in Christ. Satan cannot snatch us away from the One who loved us so much to die for us. Our Savior’s power will protect us, and we will someday share in his heavenly glory.

With a resounding “Amen,” we close this prayer in the confidence that our heavenly Father will answer all our petitions—that he help us to keep his name holy by obeying his Word and living according to his holy will, that his kingdom be firmly established in our hearts and be spread to others, that God’s power break the will of the devil, the world and our sinful flesh, that we receive all our physical blessings from God with a thankful heart, that God freely forgive our sins through Christ and teach us to have a forgiving spirit toward others, that he help us overcome Satan’s temptations, and that he rescue us from the evil we experience now and take us to heaven through a blessed death.

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for teaching your church the Lord’s Prayer. Help us to always pray it with clear understanding and fervent faith. Amen!

For the complete series of devotionals on the Lord’s Prayer 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

The Lord’s Prayer – Sixth Petition – May 26, 2016

Thu, May 26, 2016

“‘And lead us not into temptation.’”
Matthew 6:13a

The Lord’s Prayer – Sixth Petition
Daily Devotion – May 26, 2016

Devotion based on Matthew 6:13a
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160526dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

“Temptation” is any situation in which we are led into false belief, despair or shameful sins. The devil tempted Eve into false belief. He led her to believe that God was unloving when he gave them the command not to eat from a certain tree in the garden. Satan argued that God was really withholding a great blessing from her and Adam. If they’d eat of the forbidden fruit, they would be like God. All they had to do was disobey his Word. The devil also tempted Judas with the desire for riches, which caused this chosen apostle of the Lord to fall from his privileged position. And once he had betrayed Jesus, the devil retained his victim by convincing him that there was no forgiveness for the great sin he had committed. Judas was led into such despair that he took his own life. And the devil comes with his temptations to lead people into great and shameful sins. He tempted King David to commit adultery, which led to the murder of an innocent and unsuspecting husband.

Satan skillfully uses the sinful attractions of this world to help him accomplish his evil intent. He is often successful in persuading people to pattern their lifestyle according to popular choices rather than the will of God revealed in the Bible. Satan also knows that the cravings of our sinful nature are very powerful and that with just the right temptation at the right time, he may be able to lead us into sin.

So Jesus teaches us to pray to our heavenly Father, “Lead us not into temptation.” Let’s not misunderstand this petition. God doesn’t tempt us. It is written in the book of James: “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone” (James 1:13). It is God’s will that we overcome the temptations of the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh. Therefore, we pray in this petition that God would give us the power and strength to resist temptation so that Satan and sin will not control our lives and bring us to eternal death.

God’s Word strengthens our faith and gives us a powerful defense against temptation. The apostle Paul urges us to “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). Paul was thinking of the Roman war shield which was covered with leather. The soldiers soaked their shields in water before battle. These water-soaked shields helped to defend the soldiers from the enemy’s flaming arrows. By immersing our faith in the living water of the Word, we are equipped to defend ourselves from temptations. And God, our gracious Lord, assures us that he will not allow the onslaught of temptations to become so great that we will be defeated. The Bible teaches: “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Prayer:
Guard me, heavenly Father, against the temptations by the devil, the world around me, and even my sinful nature that I might not fall into sin. Strengthen my faith with the power of your Word to preserve me in my relationship with you. Amen.

For the complete series of devotions on the Lord’s Prayer 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

A Meaningful Blessing – May 25, 2016

Wed, May 25, 2016

The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: ” ‘ “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ‘ “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
Numbers 6:22-27

A Meaningful Blessing
Daily Devotion – May 25, 2016

Devotion based on Numbers 6:22-27
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160525dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Sometimes when you hear the same words over and over again, the meaning of those words gets diminished or lost altogether. On the other hand, sometimes when you hear or read something new, you may not catch all of it’s meaning the first time. The words in Numbers chapter 6 are words that many Christians have heard over and over again because this blessing is used at the end of most church services. So the danger for Christians is to let them lose their meaning. But if you’ve never been to a church service or if it has been a long time since you went to church, then perhaps you didn’t catch everything when you read them just now. So let’s slow down and consider what God says here.

First we notice that this blessing can be divided into three parts. Each part tells us who is doing the blessing. It’s the LORD. This blessing doesn’t come from a generic god who is the product of someone’s imagination. No, this is the God of free and faithful grace. He makes promises to our fallen race and reveals his loving heart to us through his Word. His name is repeated three times reminding us that he is triune: three distinct persons, yet one God.

The LORD blesses and keeps us. He doesn’t just give to us one blessing here at one time, and another blessing there at another time. No, his care for us is constant. He preserves us, guides us, guards us, protects us and keeps us.

The LORD makes his face shine on us and is gracious to us. He gives to us what we don’t deserve. We have earned nothing good from him. To the contrary, due to our sins we have earned his anger and punishment. But rather than punishing us for our many and varied sins, he sent his Son to take our place. On the cross he punished Jesus instead, so that we are forgiven. The light of his grace and mercy shines on us through Christ.

The LORD lifts up his face toward us and gives us peace. The Holy Spirit working through the power of the gospel brings us to faith in Jesus, and we have his peace. Through faith in Jesus, God does not turn his face away from us in anger, but lifts it toward us in Fatherly love and compassion. Through faith in Jesus, we are made his children. Through faith in Jesus, we have the peace of knowing that nothing in all creation will separate us from his love.

Whether we’ve heard them a thousand times, or for the first time in a long time, what wonderful words God speaks to us in his blessing! Know that this is what the LORD, the triune God of grace does for you!

Prayer:
Gracious God, as you have promised, bless me and keep me. As you have promised, make your face shine on me and be gracious to me. As you have promised, lift up your face toward me and give me peace. 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

Hope Through the Storms of Life – May 24, 2016

Tue, May 24, 2016

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:1-5

Hope Through the Storms of Life
Daily Devotion – May 24, 2016

Devotion based on Romans 5:1-5
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160524dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Sixteenth century European explorers were racing to find a way to India and the east. The land route had been cut off; the only option remaining was the sea. One of the first Portuguese navigators to try sailing south around the African continent ran into a storm that nearly tore his ship into pieces. He called that place the Cape of Storms. A few years later when Vasco da Gama arrived at the same location, he was heartened by the fact that they were no longer sailing south but east. His eyes were on the riches of India that lay ahead of him. The place was renamed the Cape of Good Hope.

The human experience has much in common with a stormy sea; we are easily shipwrecked on the rocks of doubt, despair, or temptation. We experience suffering and sadness, pain and loss in our lives. And when we die, we know we will face our Maker to give an accounting to him. At times it may seem that he is already punishing us for the wrong we have done.

But the hope of Christians is not founded on what we can perceive but rather on what God has promised. God’s Word assures us that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Through no merits of our own, but purely through faith in the Son of God who sacrificed himself for us, our guilt has been removed. Justified with God, we now are at peace with him. No matter how turbulent the journey through life is, we know it ends with our loving Savior welcoming us into his heavenly home. Our hope in God’s promises sustains us through the storms of this world.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you calmed the stormy sea by speaking a word. Calm my restless heart by reminding me of what you have done and what you promise still to do 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

TMI? – May 23, 2016

Mon, May 23, 2016

Jesus said: “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.”
John 16:12-13

TMI?
Daily Devotion – May 23, 2016

Devotion based on John 16:12-13
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160523dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

TMI! Too much information! You normally hear this complaint when someone has shared something that is too personal or too gross. Perhaps they shared a few too many details about the illness, the surgery, or the broken relationship. Their friend would have been content with far less. This was simply “TMI!”

Have you met someone who’s tried to read the Bible and went away moaning, “TMI!”? Perhaps they started in Genesis and decided to plow straight through the good book all the way to Revelation. So many names! So many stories! So many rules! So many promises! Did God get a little carried away? Should we send him a short email or prayer with the subject line: “Too much information!”?

Anticipating a response like that from us, Jesus graciously shared with his disciples (and us) two big promises. Jesus will send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit “will guide you into all truth.”

You are not alone in navigating through the Bible. God the Holy Spirit works through that Word. He plants faith in your heart. The Holy Spirit grows your understanding of God’s Word and will. He increases your love, peace and joy.

Too much information? No, the Bible is just right. It’s just right for doing exactly what God wants it to do. The Holy Spirit shows us just how gross and lonely, broken and lost, we are without God. Then, the Holy Spirit uses his Word to show you just how found and forgiven, loved and beautiful you are to God through Jesus.

TMI? No. Tell me more!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, send the Holy Spirit and increase my faith. Since the Holy Spirit works through your Word, the Bible, keep me faithful in reading your Word and attending worship. Fill my heart so that I know, trust and live your truth more and more. 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

What do You Contain? – May 22, 2016

Sun, May 22, 2016

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7

What do You Contain?
Daily Devotion – May 22, 2016

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 4:7
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160522dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

It was just an ordinary container. That’s what a couple in Concord, California found as they rummaged through an abandoned storage unit. Such an item is nothing to get excited about. If someone had stolen it, damaged it or thrown it away, no one would have lost a bit of sleep.

But then the couple took off the lid. Inside were old gold coins. They were rare and they were real. In a moment that container grew in value to $500,000 dollars. Not because it was so special, of course, but because of what the container contained.

You and I are painfully aware of how ordinary and plain we are in so many ways. In fact, if we catch each other in candid moments, we might tell each other all the ways in which we are not even adequate. That’s what our sin has done. It has ruined us. It has broken us. It has emptied us of value. By ourselves we are less than an ordinary container located inside an abandoned building.

But Jesus changed everything. His perfect life covered our sinful failures. His blood made us clean, new and forgiven. And now, through faith in him, we contain the gospel, the only message that changes lives forever.

That makes us priceless. Not because of what we are by nature, of course. But because of what we contain in Jesus Christ.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I’m just a jar of clay. But you have placed inside me your priceless message of forgiveness. For this act of love, I thank you. 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 Reason for Suffering – May 21, 2016

Sat, May 21, 2016

[W]e share in [Jesus’] sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Romans 8:17

A Reason for Suffering
Daily Devotion – May 21, 2016

Devotion based on Romans 8:17
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160521dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

A man once came across the cocoon of an Emperor Moth. He took it home. In time he began to see movement inside. The moth was getting ready to emerge.

But there seemed to be a problem. The moth struggled and struggled, but it appeared that the moth was having great trouble breaking through the cocoon. The struggle continued, and still the moth could not break through. Finally, the man had an idea. “I’ll save this moth a lot of trouble,” he thought.

He took a scissors. And with the scissors he carefully snipped the bottom of the cocoon so that the moth could get out. As soon as he did, the moth slipped out easily.

But then, the man noticed something. He noticed that the moth had a large, swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man thought, “No problem. In a few hours the fluid will go from the body into the wings and the moth will be fine.”
But the moth was not fine. Because the man had cut short the time of struggle inside the cocoon, the wings never got a chance to get strong. The wings remained withered. The moth never flew.

When the Lord gives us a time of suffering in which to struggle, he does it for a reason. One of his purposes is to keep us close to him, his Word, his love and forgiveness. For when we do, his Holy Spirit strengthens us. He seasons our faith. He reinforces our bond with Christ. And when that happens, our Christian lives can take flight. We can touch the lives of others with the gospel. We can do the wonderful things the Lord intends for us to do.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when sufferings come, bless my struggle. By your gospel, fill me with your Holy Spirit. Strengthen the wings of my Christian life. 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 Lord’s Prayer – Fifth Petition – May 20, 2016

Fri, May 20, 2016

“‘Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.’”
Matthew 6:12

The Lord’s Prayer – Fifth Petition
Daily Devotion – May 20, 2016

Devotion based on Matthew 6:12
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160520dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Forgiveness of sins is so important to our life, our hope, and our faith that Jesus teaches us to pray in the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer: Forgive us our debts. Our debt to God is the enormous number of sins which we commit in our lifetime—all that we do to offend God’s holiness and all that we fail to do according to his will. Included are not only the sins which we commit in thought, word and deed, but also our sinful condition with which we are born. Can we ever pay this great debt? Not a chance!

That’s why Jesus teaches us to pray for forgiveness. This is “an appeal to God not to regard our sins and punish us as we daily deserve, but to deal graciously with us, forgive as he has promised, and thus grant us a happy and cheerful conscience to stand before him in prayer” (Martin Luther: The Large Catechism). Our appeal in this petition is based on the confidence that God richly and daily forgives our sins through Jesus, whose blood cleanses us from all sin.

It happens in this life that others offend us. People are not perfect. Friends will hurt us by what they say. Spouses will act unkindly. Others will take advantage of us. We live in a sinful world filled with sinful people, and at times we will be targeted by sinful actions or words. Jesus teaches us that as God was willing to forgive the huge debt of our sin, we are to forgive others in response to God’s love.

When we forgive people for wrongs that they did against us, we assure them that we don’t hold the matter against them and that our relationship with them in the future will not be affected by anything that they did. Forgiving someone in that way is a difficult thing to do. Our natural self wants to get even, and we have a hard time forgetting about the matter that affected us so deeply.

The only way that we can learn how to forgive freely and fully is to focus on the forgiveness that we have from God through Jesus. Because Jesus willingly took the blame for our sin, God does not hold us accountable for the guilt of our many offenses against him. And he promises that our relationship with him will always be peaceful because he will remember our sins no more.

How blessed we are that God shows us such great mercy! One way that we can show him our gratitude is to be forgiving toward others as he has forgiven us. In this regard, Jesus gives a warning: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). If we are stubborn to forgive others when they commit an offense against us, we can’t expect God to bless us with the forgiveness of all the sins that we have committed against him. Our stubbornness reveals how we are resisting God’s love and are not following his will.

To be forgiven by God is a never-ending need. We can’t confidently walk through today and step into tomorrow without the assurance of God’s forgiveness. To be forgiving toward others is a continuing virtue that we strive to practice as a fitting response to God’s merciful love. Without forgiveness, we cannot live in loving harmony with God; without a forgiving spirit, we can’t live in peaceful accord with people.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, please forgive all my sins for the sake of Jesus, and help me express my great appreciation for your forgiveness by being more forgiving toward others who sin against me. Amen.

For the complete series of devotions on the Lord’s Prayer 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

The Lord’s Prayer – Fourth Petition – May 19, 2016

Thu, May 19, 2016

“‘Give us today our daily bread.’”
Matthew 6:11

The Lord’s Prayer – Fourth Petition
Daily Devotion – May 19, 2016

Devotion based on Matthew 6:11
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160519dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Bread is eaten by people all over the world. Because it is a mainstay of many people’s diet, it is often called the staff of life. However, we need many more things than just bread to completely supply our lives. Thus Martin Luther writes in his Large Catechism regarding this petition of the Lord’s Prayer:

When you mention and pray for daily bread, you pray for everything that is necessary in order to have and enjoy daily bread and, on the other hand, against everything which interferes with it…To comprise it briefly, this petition includes everything that belongs to our entire life in the world, because on that account alone do we need daily bread.

Scripture teaches that God supplies every physical necessity for all people. But God doesn’t just wait to be asked before he supplies our physical needs. Jesus remarked, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8). Therefore, this petition of the Lord’s Prayer is not so much a “give me” prayer, as though God were waiting for us to pray before he grants physical blessings to us. This petition is more a “thank you” prayer. Jesus wants us to realize that all of our physical blessings come from our heavenly Father and that we should receive them with thanksgiving.

Jesus emphasizes that we are to pray for “daily” bread for “today”. We shouldn’t worry about tomorrow. God, who knows our needs and provides for us today, also knows our future and is able to meet those needs as they come. Our heavenly Father constantly cares for us by his almighty power because of his love for us. Instead of worrying about what we need for our physical lives, the Savior tells us to be concerned about the requirements for our souls. He says, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). Often we become so concerned about our material needs that we let them take priority over our spiritual needs. Our efforts and energy center on what we have to do to get what we need and want for our bodies, when little do we realize how much our souls are improperly supplied. Jesus is telling us, “Let go of the concern for your physical life and supply the critical need of feeding your soul with God’s Word. While my Word supplies bounty for your soul, I will see to it that all the needs of your body are also given to you.”

With this petition Jesus teaches us to pray for greater confidence in our loving, heavenly Father that he will provide physical blessings for our lives one day at a time. We are moved to thank and praise God for his abundant favor toward us in the way that he “gives us today our daily bread.”

Prayer:
(Psalm 145:15,16,21):
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name forever and ever.

For the complete series of devotions on the Lord’s Prayer 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

Build for the Right Reason – May 18, 2016

Wed, May 18, 2016

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
Genesis 11:1-9

Build for the Right Reason
Daily Devotion – May 18, 2016

Devotion based on Genesis 11:1-9
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160518dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

The project was doomed from the word “go”. Was there a problem with the building design? Did the loan fall through and the money dry up? Did a contractor walk off the job? No. As building projects go, the Tower of Babel appeared to be set up for success. The builders had settled on the plans. The materials were of high quality and would last a long time, which was the goal. The builders worked together for a common purpose.

Yet the tower never got past the “work-in-progress” stage. God confused the language of the people working on it. One day they were all working together. The next day no one could understand what their fellow workers were saying. Imagine the confusion and dysfunction on a construction site today if two builders putting up a wall couldn’t communicate. So the Tower of Babel building project literally fell apart overnight. Why? Because they built for the wrong reason. God had said, “Spread out and fill the earth”, but they said, “We’ll just stay here, all together in one place.” God had said, “I get the glory,” but they said, “No, we want to make a name for ourselves.” They set out to build their city, their tower because of their human pride. They wanted to treat God as an equal at best, and his will as a suggestion. They wanted to be masters of their own lives. But God would not allow it.

Do you build your life in the same way—out of sinful human pride? God says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). But in sinful pride do you respond by thinking, “The only people that matter are me, myself and I.” In his law, God tells you how he wants you to live, but in your sinful pride do you think, “I’d rather live the way I want.” To build your life that way would ensure eternal destruction in the end.

The good news is that God would not allow that either. He sent his Son, Jesus, to save you from your sin. Sinful human beings fall prey to pride and selfishness time and time again. But Jesus was perfectly humble and selfless, so much that he gave his life on the cross to forgive your sins, and he rose again to give you heaven. Jesus not only changes your eternity, he changes your present. Out of thanks to him, build your life not on pride or selfish aims, but live out of thanks to Jesus for his love and salvation. That’s what the Holy Spirit enables and motivates you to do when he works faith in Jesus in your heart. Build your life with Christ as your cornerstone and his Word as your foundation. Build your life to follow God’s will and to serve your fellow human beings. Build for the right reason. Because Jesus died and rose for you, now you live for him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for saving me from sin and death. Send your Holy Spirit to strengthen my faith so that I may build my life on and for 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

Calling Attention to Jesus – May 17, 2016

Tue, May 17, 2016

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? … We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Acts 2:5-8, 11-12

Calling Attention to Jesus
Daily Devotion – May 17, 2016

Devotion based on Acts 2:5-8, 11-12
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160517dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

I was a very bashful boy. I felt uncomfortable whenever everyone in the room happened to be looking at me. My parents and my pastor still encouraged me to consider the ministry when I grew up. But I couldn’t get over the fact that as a pastor I would have to do so much public speaking. Then along the way I discovered something that changed my perspective. A preacher is not supposed to call attention to himself. Yes, he stands in front of the church and often wears a microphone, but only so that he can point everyone there to someone else far more important. A pastor’s goal is not to be the center of attention but to make the name of Jesus Christ our Savior known to all.

The Holy Spirit has been called the “shy member of the Holy Trinity.” Even though God the Holy Spirit inspired apostles and prophets to write the words of the Scriptures, he moved them to reveal far more about the Father and the Son than about himself.

This is what makes Pentecost Sunday so interesting. The “shy” member of the Trinity caused the sound of a great wind to call the attention of a great crowd of people in Jerusalem. He made what looked to be tongues of fire dance on the heads of the disciples. Then he gave them the power to speak fluently in languages they had never learned. With Spirit-given confidence, the disciples proclaimed “the wonders of God.” They spoke about how God’s Son had died and risen so that all who believe in him are forgiven by God the Father and saved from eternal death. After getting everyone’s attention through his miracles, the Spirit once again faded into the background, content that all eyes were focused on Jesus.

Christians today are to follow the Spirit’s humble example. We share our faith and speak of our Savior not to boast or to call attention to ourselves. Rather we would have all people turn their eyes to where we ourselves are looking—to Jesus Christ the Savior of the nations.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, thank you for pointing me to Jesus. Teach me to humbly do the same for 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

I Just Want to Know – May 16, 2016

Mon, May 16, 2016

“When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”
John 15:26-27

I Just Want to Know
Daily Devotion – May 16, 2016

Devotion based on John 15:26-27
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160516dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

There are times you just want to know what to do next. Which school should you attend? Which job should you take? Where should you live? What should you do? Where will you be… 1 year, 5 years, or 50 years? Maybe today is one of those days when you’re saying, “I just want to know what’s going to happen.”

Jesus had been telling his disciples what would happen next—that he’d be betrayed, suffer, die and rise on the third day. Jesus’ disciples couldn’t fully grasp what he had been telling them.

So Jesus promised them something else, something more. He told them what would happen. Jesus would send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would testify about Jesus.

While they couldn’t at the moment fully grasp what Jesus would be doing, they could confidently trust what would happen. The Holy Spirit would be sent. He would teach them and clarify what was presently so cloudy. The Holy Spirit would enlighten their hearts so they could know and trust in Jesus—their Savior from sin and death.

What did they need to do? The disciples were to tell others about Jesus. The disciples were to share Jesus with others.

What still happens today? Jesus still sends his Holy Spirit. Every time Jesus’ book—the Bible—is opened and shared, the Spirit of truth is at work. The Holy Spirit uses those words to “testify about Jesus.” The Spirit guides us in all truth. What are we to do? Jesus still tells us that we are to share him with others.

You and I don’t know the answer to questions about our experiences in the future. But by Jesus promise, we do know something more important. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches us the truth. We are his witnesses (no matter what the future holds.)

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, because you promise, I know that you are always with me, and that you send the Holy Spirit to fill my head and my heart. Let me be your witness today with all I do and say. 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

Change I Can Believe In – May 15, 2016

Sun, May 15, 2016

All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:25-27

Change I Can Believe In
Daily Devotion – May 15, 2016

Devotion based on John 14:25-27
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160515dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Change. Although it is a part of life, it can either be a welcome relief or unwelcome intrusion. Regardless of my attitude toward change, it will continue to happen. So how do I decide which changes to adopt and which to resist? This is something that experience will help me answer.

Experience does show me one area where change is good and is always welcome. It is the change promised by Jesus and brought about by the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised his followers that they would see a change in their lives and a change in the way they look at life. Consider some of those changes. The Spirit would reinforce everything Jesus taught. He would provide the peace Jesus secured through his suffering and death. He would also bring about a change of heart and mind.

These changes Jesus promised through the Holy Spirit still take place. The Spirit offers them through God’s Word to open my eyes to the changes he works in me.

Through the Spirit I come to an understanding and appreciation of what Jesus did for me. Everything he accomplished, everything he taught, I now know what it means for me. Here is change. No longer am I blind and ignorant of the Lord, but I know him through faith.

Through the Spirit I enjoy the peace Jesus secured for me. I have the right relationship with God. No longer am I hostile to him and his will. I know his goodness and mercy. I have been changed. Now I have peace.

Through the Spirit I also look at life differently. The things that daily disturb me and trouble my heart God helps me overcome. The forces Satan hurls against me to make me timid and cowardly are defeated. This is change. My heart is calm. My soul is confident. I know the Spirit is with me, and he will always assure me of my Savior’s love and forgiveness, as well as his strength and victory.

Change when it comes from the Lord is a blessing. It leads to joy, to peace, to loving service and to faithfulness. This is change I can believe in.

Prayer:
O dearest Jesus, you have promised to work a change in my heart and in my life. Send me your Holy Spirit through God’s Word to make that change. Continue your work so that I may know your peace, your presence and your power. 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 Love – May 14, 2016

Sat, May 14, 2016

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:15-16

God’s Love
Daily Devotion – May 14, 2016

Devotion based on 1 John 4:15-16
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160514dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

As a sinner I like to think God takes me just the way I am. Then I can continue to live just the way I do. This way of thinking helps me put down my guilt and lift up my self-esteem. Unfortunately, I have blinded myself with a lie, and in reality, I have made myself more deserving of God’s judgment. So, how do I know God loves me?

God’s word through the apostle John is so important. He writes: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” Two thoughts are important. One is knowledge of God’s love. The other is reliance on God’s love. By myself and through my own efforts I have neither. Naturally I do not know what God’s love is all about. Then, because I don’t know that love, I can’t rely on it. What I am left with is a love that I must manufacture. That love will always be incomplete and lead to disappointment.
This is why I need to know how God actually shows his love. God revealed his love in Jesus Christ, and proclaimed it through the Scriptures. When I listen to his voice, I learn: “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.”

God revealed his love in Jesus. When I acknowledge all that Jesus did for me, I know God is love. Through Jesus God gives me the holiness I lack. Through Jesus God washes away every dreadful stain of sin. Through Jesus I am brought back to life from being dead in my disobedience. Through Jesus I am set apart for God’s holy purpose. This is what God’s love is all about, and how I know God loves me. This is love on which I can rely.

Daily I have to live with all kinds of uncertainty. Life and health issues. Family problems. Job stress. They pose a very heavy burden, and sometimes even lead me to call into question God’s love for me. This is why I need to look beyond my definition of love, and why I must look directly to the cross of Jesus. There I see in blazing letters: God is love. And with that cross, my doubts are removed with the assurance: God loves me.

Prayer:
(Psalm 73:23-26):
O Lord, I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

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 Lord’s Prayer – Third Petition – May 13, 2016

Fri, May 13, 2016

“‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’”
Matthew 6:10b

The Lord’s Prayer – Third Petition
Daily Devotion – May 13, 2016

Devotion based on Matthew 6:10b
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160513dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

God’s will is that everyone live holy lives by obeying his Word perfectly. His will is done by the angels in heaven. God also desires that his will be done on earth by all people. But as sinners, it is impossible for us on earth to live like angels in heaven. That’s why we need the power of God working in us. God the Holy Spirit, using the power of the gospel, brings about change in our lives. Revealing Jesus to us as our Savior, he changed our hearts from unbelief to faith in Jesus. Now the Spirit continually reminds us of God’s love for us in Christ and inspires us toward lives which glorify God by striving to live more and more according to his holy will.

God’s will is done when the Holy Spirit strengthens and keeps us firm in God’s Word and in the true faith as long as we live. As an illustration, think of springtime when countless numbers of seedlings spring up from the seed fallen from mature trees. These seedlings are very tender; one can easily cut them down or uproot them. Likewise, in a spiritual sense, the devil uses his power to try to uproot our trust in Jesus as our Savior. He attacks us at our weakest moments when we are the most vulnerable. In praying for God’s will to be done, we are asking our heavenly Father to guard our faith against the attacks of Satan and help us grow stronger in our confidence and knowledge of Jesus.

Again to the illustration: tree seedlings grow; they become stronger and more deeply rooted. Yet they are threatened by the forces of nature such as strong winds, flooding waters or raging fire. Even as we grow and mature in our faith, we are often tempted by the sinful allurements around us which threaten to topple us into spiritual ruin. In this petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we are asking our heavenly Father to help us endure against sin so that we don’t lose our vital connection with Jesus.

Back to the thought of trees once more: some of the sturdiest of trees are killed from within by insects that gnaw away at their life support system. Similarly, Christians must contend with sinful natures that work to weaken them spiritually and lead them into opposition of God’s will. Jesus teaches us to pray for God’s will to be done in us because he knows the inner struggles that we have against our sinful natures.

Seedlings, growing trees, and mature trees all need the favorable conditions of warm sunshine and fertile soil. Then they will be durable and strong against all the things that threaten their existence. In the same way, Christians need God’s grace to warm their souls with the knowledge of the Savior from sin, and they need the Word of God for their saving faith to be solidly rooted and properly nourished. This is God’s will, that by the power of his Word we are preserved in saving faith until the end. We pray that God’s good and gracious will continue to be done among us.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, cause your holy will to be accomplished in my life. Guard me against the forces of the devil and help me avoid the ways of sin around me and in me. Through your Word make me grow in my faith in Jesus and preserve me in that saving faith until the day you call me to heaven where I will gladly join your angels in perfectly doing your holy will. Amen.

For the complete series of devotions on the Lord’s Prayer 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

The Lord’s Prayer – Second Petition – May 12, 2016

Thu, May 12, 2016

“‘Your kingdom come.’”
Matthew 6:10a

The Lord’s Prayer – Second Petition
Daily Devotion – May 12, 2016

Devotion based on Matthew 6:10a
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20160512dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

God’s kingdom is Christ’s rule in the hearts of his true believers. The throne of the Lord is our hearts. He established his loving dominion over us when the Holy Spirit brought us to faith by the gospel. And ever since, the Holy Spirit has continued to strengthen our Lord’s rule in us by the power of God’s Word.

Under Jesus’ rule, we are relieved of the guilt of our sins and freed from the fear of condemnation. In God’s kingdom we have the spiritual peace of full and free forgiveness through Christ. Furthermore, we have spiritual freedom in God’s kingdom. Jesus sets us free from our fears and worries. He fills us with confidence in the truth that he is our Redeemer who bought us back from the power of Satan and freed us from painful and eternal separation from God when we die. And he fills our lives with purpose and meaningful existence as his followers by faith.

Since we are already members of God’s kingdom by faith, why does Jesus teach us to pray for God’s kingdom to come? There are three reasons: wicked Satan, the evil world, and our sinful flesh. The devil persistently strives to win us back under his dominion. The world’s sinful allurements offer many temptations. Our sinful natures weaken our faith with worries and doubts. Since the devil, the world and our sinful flesh wage constant war against our spiritual life and saving faith, Jesus teaches us to pray for God’s kingdom to come. Our Lord wants us to pray that his rule in our hearts be strengthened each day by the power of God’s Word. He wants us preserved in faith until finally we are taken from this world, where we have enjoyed God’s kingdom of grace, to heaven where we will eternally live in his kingdom of glory!

But this petition is not only a prayer for the strengthening of Christ’s rule in us now, but also a prayer that the Holy Spirit by the gospel’s message lead those who still grope in the darkness of unbelief to the light of saving faith in Christ.

When we pray this mission prayer, let’s expect that God will answer this prayer by using us to spread the saving message of Jesus Christ. God’s kingdom has come to us and we are richly blessed by its benefits. Our Lord has commissioned us to share the gospel with the world. In this way God’s kingdom comes to others.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I pray that your kingdom come by more firmly establishing Christ’s rule in me. And use me to help spread the gospel so that others will be brought into your kingdom by the Holy Spirit. Then I will have with them the blessings of Christ’s rule now and forever. Amen.

For the complete series of devotions on the Lord’s Prayer 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