WELS Daily Devotions

He Knows What He’s Doing – June 21, 2018

2 hours 17 mi

He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Romans 8:27

He Knows What He’s Doing
Daily Devotion – June 21, 2018

Devotion based on Romans 8:27
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180621dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

People who don’t have much experience or know-how when it comes to home maintenance issues, occasionally speak, plan, and promise as if they did. While sometimes they figure things out and even do an adequate job, often they end up calling in a professional because they need help from somebody who knows what he is doing.

When it comes to spiritual life, we think we can handle it on our own. We think we can come up with the right answers and the best strategies; and often we are sorely disappointed. We think we can know the mind, heart, and will of God simply because we think he is probably a lot like us. And then we find things not going as we thought they should. Maybe we even find ourselves confused or bitter and angry as a result. When it comes to knowing God and interacting with him, we need somebody who knows what he is doing.

And we have him—the Holy Spirit. He is the one who knows all involved intimately and well. He searches hearts. He knows the mind and will of God. He intercedes for us; he goes as our representative to the very heart of God. He does it in a way that is perfect and deeply interested in our welfare. We don’t always know what is best for us. We don’t always know how or what we should pray. We sometimes lose track of the things that a good and gracious Father says are most important. But the Holy Spirit doesn’t. He knows that our greatest needs and the best free gifts from God are spiritual ones—forgiveness, peace, joy, hope. These he gives to us through Jesus and his Word. He knows our need for spiritual resiliency and strength, which he graciously gives us by connecting us to the truth in Christ. He knows our weaknesses and readily comes to our aid.

The Holy Spirit does his work “in accordance with the will of God.” We will begin to better understand those prayer thoughts when we look for God and his will in his Word. We get a good idea of the Holy Spirit’s interceding as we learn the meaning of and pray for ourselves the Lord’s Prayer. He wants every lasting and gracious spiritual blessing for us in Christ.

If you struggle with your thoughts and prayers, take comfort in knowing that at your side and before the Father’s face is one who knows what he is doing and he does it for you!

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, we thank you for the way you intercede with our Father on our behalf. Help us to find confidence, joy, and peace in knowing that you do this precious work for our welfare. In Jesus’ name. 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.

God is the Lord, the Faithful One – June 20, 2018

Wed, Jun 20, 2018

“I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will do it!”
Ezekiel 17:24c

God is the Lord, the Faithful One
Daily Devotion – June 20, 2018

Devotion based on Ezekiel 17:24c
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180620dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

This is the end of a challenging chapter of the Bible. God is speaking in picture language. Even though God explains some of it, it’s still somewhat difficult to understand.

Kind of like life, right? So often things which we think ought to happen, don’t; and things we think should not happen, do. Hard to understand!

Perhaps that is why God ends this segment as he does, with clarity and grace. Ultimately, the ruling of the earth and his own people is HIS job. He has made promises; he will do what he has promised to do.

So, we can rest on this truth: God is the Lord, the Faithful One. He has promised to rule all things for the good of his people. He spoke it; he will do it.

And he will do it whether we understand … or not. Thank God!

Prayer:
Faithful Lord, remind me of the wonderful promises you have made, then remind me that you will keep every one of those promises. In your name I pray. 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.

This Body is a Tent – June 19, 2018

Tue, Jun 19, 2018

For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:4-8

This Body is a Tent
Daily Devotion – June 19, 2018

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 5:4-8
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180619dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Today I sit in the monochrome waiting room of the specialist doctor’s office to which I was referred. Last night I went to the funeral home full of bright flower arrangements to attend the visitation for a man loved by many, now departed from this life. Last week I spoke with an adolescent young man who has an appointment scheduled to scan his body for any cancerous cells left following surgery. Tomorrow there is a good chance I will be very sore after my morning workout. If you’ve lived, you have had similar experiences. You know one day your body will give out and give up.

There is a reason you sit in medical building waiting rooms and why your loved ones will one day gather for a visitation when you have passed. The bodies we have are tents for our souls. Tents are temporary dwellings, made from canvass, plastic, or fabric. They are set up for now, but soon they will be taken down. They rip and tear, and we groan through it.

Even if you groan, you can have confidence always. The God who has created you has also created a new dwelling place for you. He has created a heavenly dwelling—a permanent home. It is yours to occupy, because of Jesus.

Our current bodies struggle and fail, because our lives are filled with disobedience to our creator. If we were to stand before his judgment seat on our own, such disobedience would merit his disownment. Yet, God sent his Son, Jesus, to dwell in the earthly tent of a human body for a time. His death came before his body naturally gave out. His death was brought by the cross.

Jesus willingly gave his life up to death to be disowned by God in your place. He did this, so you could one day be at home with the Lord, with a perfect body that will never give out or give up. Trusting in Jesus as your Savior, that is your confidence.

Prayer:
Lord God, when I groan over the temporary nature of my earthly body, remind me that I can have complete confidence in the permanent home you have for me in heaven through Jesus Christ. 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.

Is the Word working? – June 18, 2018

Mon, Jun 18, 2018

[Jesus] also 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. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
Mark 4:26-34

Is the Word working?
Daily Devotion – June 18, 2018

Devotion based on Mark 4:26-34
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180618dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

The Word of God is certainly ink blotches laid down on a page. It is sound waves coming from ear buds or a voice. It is pixels on a screen of a device. Sometimes, though, God’s Word can seem like only that. At times, God’s Word may seem to be even less than that as it can look and sound like empty words.

Those Words may have seemed like mere words if we had been witnesses of Jesus’ ministry. His teaching made his own family think he was out of his mind. The Jewish religious elite thought he was demon-possessed. Was the Word working?

We also can find evidence of the Word seeming to be mere words in the present day. Though there are some churches which are large and attract many, there are many more which are small, seemingly insignificant, and on the verge of closing. Is the Word working? There are people who acknowledge the Word but live contrary to it. Is the Word working? What about in your own life? Have you seen a marked change in yourself from day to day?

In these two parables, however, Jesus helps us see what we cannot see with our eyes and hear what we cannot hear with our ears. Just as a seed is planted in the ground and we cannot see what is happing under the ground, so also is God’s Word. We cannot always see its power at work, yet it is at work to provide a rich harvest.

If we try to use our eyes and ears, the working of the Word might just look weak, insignificant, and ineffective—much like a small insignificant seed. But the Word has power to grow, much like that small seed grows into the mightiest of plants.

The Word of God is powerful, and it is at work among us today. It expands God’s kingdom around the world. It turns the rebellious into children of God. It renews you. It strengthens you. It is growing you into a mighty harvest which finally Jesus will come to gather to himself.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, give me eyes and ears of faith to trust that your Word is at work creating a harvest 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.

When God Chose to Love Us – June 17, 2018

Sun, Jun 17, 2018

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

When God Chose to Love Us
Daily Devotion – June 17, 2018

Devotion based on Romans 5:8
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180617dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Some years ago, actor Harrison Ford starred in a motion picture entitled, “Regarding Henry.” Ford portrays a man by the name of Henry Turner. Henry is a successful Manhattan lawyer. He is also callous, cruel, adulterous, unethical, and self-absorbed. His toxic personality made life miserable for his wife and daughter. The family is on the verge of collapse.

Then, something happens. Henry walks into a convenience store just as a robbery is about to take place. Bullets fly. Henry gets shot in the head. The trauma he sustains is severe. He nearly dies.

Many months pass. After much rehabilitation, Henry is able to walk, and talk, and function as before. But his memory of life before the shooting is still unclear. As he works to fit back into his old life, he slowly learns from others what kind of a man he had once been. The Henry who exists after the shooting discovers that he wants nothing to do with the Henry who existed before the shooting. He becomes a devoted husband, a caring father, a principled lawyer, a faithful friend.

Here’s a question: For which man would you rather die to save…the Henry who existed before the shooting, or the Henry who exists after the shooting?

Today’s Bible verse tells us that Christ died for us “while we were still sinners.” At a time when hearts of people contained nothing but the bitter bile of sin, at a time when we were all about us and wanted nothing to do with God—at that time God chose to become one of us, to take on himself the punishment for our toxic lives, to die on the cross to wash us clean.

That’s the kind of love God has for you in Jesus. It doesn’t depend on what you do for him. It doesn’t depend on what you did for him. God’s love for you in Jesus flows from himself.

That simple truth makes me want to be like the Henry who exists after the shooting. No doubt that simple truth makes you want to do the same.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, at a time when I was nothing but sin, you died for me. Now I’m yours by faith alone. Move me by your Spirit to live my life for 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.

Live for the Lord – June 16, 2018

Sat, Jun 16, 2018

After the Israelites set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the LORD had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, “We will do everything the LORD has said.”
Exodus 19:2-8a

Live for the Lord
Daily Devotion – June 16, 2018

Devotion based on Exodus 19:2-8a
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180616dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

One way to define the word “hypocrite” is to say one thing and then do another. Accordingly, we all have to admit that we are hypocrites because we have not fully followed through on every word we’ve spoken.

In the same way, we could call the Israelites hypocrites. They had just received God’s Word through Moses from the top of Mount Sinai. Just months earlier God had delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh as they passed safely through the Red Sea. They were ready to do whatever the Lord their God said. Their hearts of faith were burning in love, fear, and awe for the Lord. The Lord rescued them from slavery in Egypt and was leading them to the Promised Land! Yet, so many times thereafter they showed themselves to be unfaithful to the Lord. They said one thing, but did another.

Like the Israelites, I know the Lord. I know the wonderful, gracious, merciful things God has done for me by sending his Son Jesus to be my Savior. I certainly don’t deserve such compassion through Jesus who has freed me from slavery to sin, death, and the devil. On top of that he has given me the sure hope of the heavenly, eternal Promised Land. My heart of faith can’t help but respond: “I will live for and serve my God! I will do whatever he tells me in his Word!”

The reality for you and for me is that while we are on this side of heaven, we all have a sinful selfish nature that seeks not what God wants, but what WE want. This sinful nature, this old evil self, is why we continue to fall into sin, even when we’ve told God that we won’t do that anymore. We must recognize this enemy within us so that we learn there is only one source of help and rescue: God our Savior.

In humility we daily return to the Lord, the God of free and faithful grace, and confess our many sins. We confidently trust Jesus whose blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness. We gladly listen to God who holds open the door to the Promised Land of heaven. Then we rightly respond and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, strive daily to live according to his Word.

Prayer:
Lord, you alone know my many faults, sins, and shortcomings. Forgive me, O Lord, and renew my spirit each day that I may live for you more and more. 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.

Placing Labels on People – June 15, 2018

Fri, Jun 15, 2018

[God] saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Titus 3:5

Placing Labels on People
Daily Devotion – June 15, 2018

Devotion based on Titus 3:5
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180615dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Placing labels on people—that’s something the world loves to do. Some labels are encouraging: “You’re a winner…a natural leader…a hero.” Some hurt: “You’re a loser…ignorant…lazy.” In fact, labels can cause all sorts of problems by making some feel arrogant and others feel insecure. But those labels are based on someone else’s opinion, and it’s foolish to let the opinion of others determine how you feel about yourself.

However, when it comes to the opinion of God, that’s different. God our Savior has placed a label on you. “Mine,” he says. That’s not just an opinion, it’s a fact because he has done everything necessary to make it true. He has washed away your sin with his precious blood. He has wrapped you in his righteousness. He not only created you, he purchased and won you from sin, death, and the power of the devil. Even the faith you need to believe that saving message is something the Holy Spirit freely provided.

For those times when you wonder, “Could this really be true?” When the devil accuses, and your conscience agrees: “God could never love a sinner like you!” That’s when the Holy Spirit reminds you of a most precious blessing: baptism—the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. By the power of God’s Word, baptism connected you to Christ. God the Holy Spirit placed a “label” on you. “Mine,” he said. “You belong to me.”

Some labels should be ignored, but through baptism, the Holy Spirit has placed a label on you worth pondering every day. You are his own. There is nothing in this world more important and more comforting than knowing that you belong to God your Savior!

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, thank you for the priceless gift of baptism. Through this washing of rebirth and renewal, you have made me your own. Constantly remind me of this glorious truth. 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.

Catching Your Spiritual Breath – June 14, 2018

Thu, Jun 14, 2018

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Job 33:4

Catching Your Spiritual Breath
Daily Devotion – June 14, 2018

Devotion based on Job 33:4
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180614dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Did you ever get the wind knocked out of you? Whether as the result of playing a contact sport or just slipping on some ice and landing on your back, it can be a most anxious feeling. For a few moments you lie there, unable to breathe. Your lungs have been emptied by the jolt, and with your diaphragm temporarily paralyzed, you aren’t able to take in any air. When oxygen is in short supply, panic may set in. Fortunately, it usually isn’t long before your respiratory system begins working again the way it’s supposed to.

God created us in such a way that breathing in and out sustains our life. The Bible specifically records the moment the first human took his first breath. “Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).

More than just filling Adam’s lungs with air, God gave him the gift of spiritual life. In the original languages of the Bible, the words for spirit can also be translated as wind or air. What a beautiful reminder that just as the wind is all around us and yet invisible, so is the Holy Spirit of God. Just as the air we breathe keeps our bodies alive, so the Holy Spirit creates and strengthens spiritual life in us. The Spirit does this through the Word of God which he inspired (breathed into) the prophets and apostles to write about God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

Sometimes we can get the spiritual wind knocked out of us. Temptations and troubles, disasters and doubts, can leave us spiritually breathless. When Satan scores a blow to our spiritual breathing, it can unbalance our faith and cause us to become paralyzed with fear. In those moments, ask the Holy Spirit to help you catch your spiritual breath again. Don’t panic but listen as the Spirit points you to your Savior, Jesus who breathed his last on the cross, so that you might live forever with him.

Prayer:
Lord God, you created me through the power of the Holy Spirit. When I become winded in this weary world, send your Holy Spirit to breathe new life into me through the good news of my Savior, Jesus Christ. 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.

I Am My Father’s Child – June 13, 2018

Wed, Jun 13, 2018

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Genesis 3:8-15

I Am My Father’s Child
Daily Devotion – June 13, 2018

Devotion based on Genesis 3:8-15
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180613dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Sadly, I am my father’s child.

When my first father, Adam, heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden, he didn’t run to greet his loving Creator to spend quality time and perfect fellowship with him. Instead Adam ran and hid among the trees. It’s quite silly, really—running and hiding from the Almighty! But that’s what sinful people do. They do foolish things. When Adam was confronted with his sin, he tried deflecting. He tried making excuses. He tried shifting blame. That was foolish.

I do that too; too often. When confronted with my sin I try to deflect the discussion to something else, something that isn’t the heart of the matter. I try to make excuses to justify my behavior, or at least make it a bit more understandable and therefore reasonable. When this fails, I try to shift the blame to someone else. Then, over time, shifting blame becomes a first resort rather than a last resort. Yes, they are quite silly—my foolish attempts to hide from the Almighty!

Thankfully, I am my Father’s child.

When the Lord God had exposed the wretched state of his first children, he went on to address the serpent. God pronounced a curse upon the serpent, and along with this curse he proclaimed a wonderful promise. One of the woman’s offspring—a Savior—would come. He would crush the devil. He would restore what had been broken. Centuries later that promise was fulfilled in Jesus.

Now, by the grace of God and by the working of the Holy Spirit, I am a child of God. No longer estranged. Not disowned. Never abandoned. Having been freed from foolishness, I have been embraced. I am loved. I am forgiven. And I can walk with my Lord God in the morning, at mid-day, in the cool of the day—in peace and living hope.

Dear friend in Jesus, acknowledge that you are a child of the fall, and confess that you too often want others to take the fall for your transgressions. Then, rejoice that you are a child of the promise, and live as a redeemed, restored, forgiven child of your Father in heaven.

Prayer:
O Lord, help me remember, today and every day, that I am my Heavenly Father’s child. 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.

Young – June 12, 2018

Tue, Jun 12, 2018

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16

Young
Daily Devotion – June 12, 2018

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 4:16
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180612dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Here’s a list you may or may not want to read. It’s an official list of signs you are growing older.

According to British researchers in the April 16 edition of Express magazine, the signs, on average, begin at age 41.

Ready? Here we go.

Number 21 on the list of signs that you are growing older: You do not know the names of any modern bands. Number 18: Having colleagues who don’t know what a cassette tape is. Number 12: Falling asleep in front of the TV.

Number 11: Choosing clothes and shoes for comfort instead of style. Number 9: Finding it hard to sit cross-legged on the floor. Number 7 is finding strange hairs growing out of your ears. Number 6 is misplacing your car keys.

Number 5 on the list of signs you are growing older: Not knowing any songs in the Top 10. Number 4 is giving out an involuntary groan when you bend down. Number 3 is talking about your ailments with others.

And according to researchers, the number 1 sign that you are growing older? Forgetting names.

We can smile at this list. In fact, we should. But as we do, there is also the quiet acknowledgement that, with each passing year, our bodies age. This reality is simply part of living in a world broken by sin—your sin and mine.

But here’s the good news. In Jesus, we are young. Through faith in his life and death and resurrection on our behalf, our inner self is being renewed day by day. As we bask in his full and complete forgiveness, all things are fresh and clean and new. There is purpose in our life. There is meaning. There is a vibrancy that no anti-aging product can ever produce. There is a spring in our step as we walk with our Savior, who is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

And as for these bodies of ours that keep getting older? When Jesus returns, even they will be young again. Better than ever. For all eternity.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, on those days when my body feels its age, remind me that even the aging of my body is temporary. Remind me that in you, all things are new. Forever. 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.

The Right Conclusion – June 11, 2018

Mon, Jun 11, 2018

Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem, said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
Mark 3:20-22

The Right Conclusion
Daily Devotion – June 11, 2018

Devotion based on Mark 3:20-22
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180611dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

There were many people who had their ideas about Jesus. Their conclusions were often based on what they observed, and sometimes what they assumed. These personal ideas often led to the wrong conclusion. This is why I need to rely on the testimony of Scriptures and the gift of faith.

Through these gracious gifts I can arrive at the right conclusion. This is important because during this life I will need to rely on Jesus. If I allow the world to influence me, I might come to the same conclusion his family did: Jesus is out of his mind … how can anyone promise or do what Jesus did! I might also be led to the same faulty conclusion the teachers of the law had: Jesus couldn’t possibly be God … he must be some kind of demon who masquerades as an agent of good.

Only the Scriptures lead me to the right conclusion. God’s Word reveals what I need to know and believe. In its inspired and error-free testimony I come to know the truth, and that truth is precious. Jesus came as my substitute to do what was impossible for me to accomplish. Jesus came as my Savior to rescue me from the judgment I deserved for my sin. Jesus came as the Son of God to secure my victory over death and hell.

It is only through the witness of the Scriptures that I can know the truth, and what a blessed truth it is. God’s Word leads me to the only right conclusion—Jesus is God’s Son and my Savior.

Prayer:
O gracious Father in heaven, I know I am easily confused and distracted. By your holy Word increase my faith to confess with confidence Jesus is my Lord and 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.

Jesus Came to Call Sinners – June 10, 2018

Sun, Jun 10, 2018

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Matthew 9:10-13

Jesus Came to Call Sinners
Daily Devotion – June 10, 2018

Devotion based on Matthew 9:10-13
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180610dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

The Pharisees did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. They didn’t accept him as the one God had promised to rescue them from sin’s curse and deliver them from their enemy Satan. As proof of their position, they pointed to Jesus’ activity of dining with people of ill-reputation (tax collectors) and eating with those whose lifestyle opposed God’s law (“sinners”). Their logic was that if Jesus is God, he would know what kind of people he was associating with and avoid them.

Jesus responded to his unbelieving critics, “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” The Pharisees considered themselves spiritually healthy because they strived to live good and obedient lives before God. They didn’t think they needed Jesus for spiritual healing to save them. So Jesus told them that he couldn’t help them because they wouldn’t admit that they were sick with sin. However, Jesus made it clear that he was glad to minister to those who admit their guilt and look to him as their only hope for salvation.

Jesus quotes God’s word recorded in Hosea’s prophecy, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Salvation from the condemnation we deserve as sinners doesn’t come by sacrifices that we make—by good things that we strive to do and wrong things we seek to avoid. Not at all! Rather, rescue from the curse of sin comes only by everything Jesus has done for us. The “mercy” that God desires is to sincerely admit that we are sinners and trust Jesus alone for full forgiveness of sins and free salvation from eternal death.

Jesus came to call sinners. That’s me. That’s you. He is our Savior!

Prayer:
Help me realize, dear Jesus, that I am sick with sin. Open my eyes to see you as my Savior and my heart to put my complete trust in you for salvation. Then open up my mouth to speak your praises for all your great goodness. 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.

Eyes of Love – June 9, 2018

Sat, Jun 09, 2018

[Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God … being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
Romans 4:20-21

Eyes of Love
Daily Devotion – June 9, 2018

Devotion based on Romans 4:20-21
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180609dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

There’s a story about a nighttime fire that started in a family’s house. The entire family escaped except for one child—a young boy. The fire had forced him to keep climbing until he found himself on the roof. The boy was trapped. He could not go back downstairs—the heat was too intense. The smoke around him was so thick that it left him disoriented and confused. The thought of jumping off that roof paralyzed him with fear. So he stood, and time was running out.

But then below him, in the darkness, beyond the smoke, there came a voice. It was the voice of his father. “Jump, Son, jump!” the father cried out. “Just jump, and I will catch you.” But the boy could not see his father. On that terrible roof, all he could see were flames, sparks, darkness and smoke. In a choking voice the boy sobbed, “I’m afraid to jump, Daddy. I can’t see you.”

It was then that the father cried out the one thing that made all the difference. “I know you can’t see me, Son,” the father said. “But I can see you.” That’s all the boy needed to hear. He jumped. His father caught him, and all was well.

Because of your sin and mine, life in this broken world is often like standing on the roof of a burning house. So much smoke, so much chaos, so much confusion—it can paralyze us with fear.

But beyond the darkness comes the voice of our heavenly Father. Through the power of his Word he calls to us. He calls to us to trust him, to trust his promises, to trust his will for our lives. And trust him we can—not because we see through the smoke, but because he does.

Our heavenly Father sees us. And he will catch us. Every time. After all, he gave his own Son to wash us clean and make us his own. Since then, his eyes of love have never left us.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, through the darkness and smoke of this fallen world, you see us. By your Spirit, embrace us in this marvelous truth. Move us to trust your promises and your will for our lives. 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.

I Need the Holy Spirit – June 8, 2018

Fri, Jun 08, 2018

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Psalm 51:11

I Need the Holy Spirit


Daily Devotion – June 8, 2018

Devotion based on Psalm 51:11
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180608dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

“I trust him about as far as I can throw him. If I don’t keep my eye on him every second, there’s no telling what he will try to pull. I have to be vigilant 24-7. I simply can’t trust him a bit.”

King David didn’t write those words. But maybe he could have. David was recovering from a serious spiritual crisis. He had sinned against the Lord. He had taken another man’s wife for his own. He had murdered that other man through conspiracy and misuse of power. He had deceived a nation—God’s people. He had denied his sins.

But David was forgiven. The Lord took away his sin. The Lord had cleansed him and made him clean. The Lord had washed away all his iniquity and cleansed him of sin. (Read Psalm 51.) Now David was moving forward in repentant faith. He knew he was forgiven and a child of God. He knew God would not hold his sin against him. But David also knew that his only hope of remaining a child of God was the work of the Holy Spirit.

So he prayed: “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.” As if to say, “Lord, I was born with a sinful nature. I trust that I have your forgiveness for that sinful nature and all that it does. But I don’t trust my sinful nature even as far as I can throw it. I need your help to keep that sinful nature from getting the best of me and taking me down. Be merciful to me and do not drive me away. Keep me close to you. If you should ever take your Holy Spirit from me, I’m a goner. So send the Holy Spirit to me again and again through your loving promises, that I may live and enjoy your love forever.”

We can pray the same thing. We have a sinful nature that we can’t trust. We have forgiveness through Christ, who died and rose again. We have received the gift of the Holy Spirit through Word and sacrament. We have the ongoing need and the gospel-born confidence to pray: “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.”

Prayer:
Dear Lord, be merciful to me. As you have so richly forgiven me, so continue to send me your Holy Spirit, that I may not fall from faith, but remain your child forever. 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.

Loneliness – June 7, 2018

Thu, Jun 07, 2018

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
Psalm 139:7-8

Loneliness
Daily Devotion – June 7, 2018

Devotion based on Psalm 139:7-8
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180607dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

A five-year-old boy had a terrible nightmare. He dreamt that his family had vanished and left him all alone. The boy woke up terrified in the middle of the night and began frantically searching the house in the darkness, looking for his parents. But it was to no avail, for in his confusion, he forgot to check their bedroom. What a relief when his bewildered father came downstairs and found him whimpering in the kitchen.

Loneliness is a terrible feeling and abandonment is even worse. Here’s where we discover the amazing comfort of God’s omnipresence, which means that God is present everywhere. Only God possesses this quality, so the psalm writer, King David, makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is truly God because he, too, is everywhere.

And what a comfort! A five-year-old child is terrified if he’s left all alone, but even for adults the world is a frightening place. How should we deal with financial ruin, terminal illness, or the death of someone we dearly love? How can we handle even just the stress of daily living and the endless stream of nagging problems? Most importantly, how can we face our own death? The problems of this world are too big for us to handle on our own. We know this. But we are not alone.

Make sure you know why this is true.

Jesus died praying Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” God the Father abandoned his only Son while Jesus was on the cross. Jesus was plunged into darkness and indescribable suffering…alone. Why was Jesus torn from his Father? Why did he experience the terrible abandonment of God? He was getting what we deserved. He was suffering for our sins. He endured our punishment. Jesus cried out to his Heavenly Father, “Why have you forsaken me?” so we would never have to.

Through faith in Jesus God is present with you forever. No matter what you’re going through; no matter how dark things are, the Lord almighty is with you. He has you by the hand and he will never let you go. Never! Not even death can separate you from him.

The Lord almighty is with you and with him you are safe.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, I have nothing to fear because you are with me. Help me to ponder that truth this day. 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.

The Lord Gives Us Rest – June 6, 2018

Wed, Jun 06, 2018

“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.”
Deuteronomy 5:12-15

The Lord Gives Us Rest
Daily Devotion – June 6, 2018

Devotion based on Deuteronomy 5:12-15
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180606dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Last month was a busy one for our family. With two birthdays, two graduations, Mother’s Day, and a wedding, we had plenty of happy occasions to celebrate. By the end of the month we were exhausted, running from one big event to the next. However, we often reminded ourselves how blessed we were that these were happy events that kept us so busy. Life could just as easily throw an equally large number of challenges and tragedies at us in a short period of time.

Whether we are overwhelmed with the good things of this world or with disasters, we can quickly forget that this world is not the only one. We get so caught up in the daily chores, weekly specials, monthly bills, and annual events that it seems that time will always just keep marching forward. We lose sight of Jesus’ promise to return one day soon and end the world as we know it. So in the Third Commandment, the Lord commanded his people to take a regular rest from their earthly routines.

When we gather for worship on a weekly basis, the Lord not only gives us momentary relief from the daily grind, he gives us true, eternal rest for our souls. Just as God had rescued his Old Testament people from slavery in Egypt, he rescued us from slavery to sin, death, and the devil by the work of his Son Jesus Christ. In our worship services, the Lord reminds us through his Word about everything that Christ has done for us. Confidently in Christ, we know that the sad times of life now will soon be a bygone experience, while the happy events of this world are a foretaste of unending heavenly joy we will have through Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord God, break through my focus on the busyness of this world to remind me of the blessedness of the world to come. 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.

Something More – June 5, 2018

Tue, Jun 05, 2018

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

Something More
Daily Devotion – June 5, 2018

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 4:7
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180605dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

In the 1930’s and ‘40’s, an actress by the name of Hedy Lamarr was one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood. Many called her, “the most beautiful woman in the world.” People flocked into the theaters to see her movies. The profits from her films were in the millions. She was one of the reigning queens of the silver screen.

But as the years went by, her outward beauty faded. Her box office popularity declined, and many dismissed her as an aging remnant from a bygone era. In her closing years she lived quietly, rarely leaving her home. She died in the year 2000.

A recent documentary entitled, “Bombshell” reveals that Hedy Lamarr had much more than just a pretty face for moviegoers to see. She also possessed scientific, inventive genius. Unknown to almost anyone at the time, Hedy Lamarr, in the days of World War II, created and patented a radio frequency system to benefit the U.S. Navy. This system is the basis for the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS technology that the world enjoys today.

People knew Hedy Lamarr for her physical beauty, even though she had much more to offer. For what do people know you? Perhaps some know you for what you do for a living. Perhaps others know you for your favorite hobby or a particular talent you have. Perhaps still others know you for your role as a parent or grandparent. And it’s likely that there are all kinds of people in your life who do not know you for anything specific at all.

Regardless whether people take note of us for anything, you and I have something to offer—something more significant than what we do for a living, how we look, or what abilities we have. Beyond all that, you and I possess the treasure of the gospel. You and I possess the extraordinary news that God has entered our world in the person of Jesus Christ, that he has washed away our every sinful failure through his death on the cross. You and I possess the history-changing message that, through faith in Jesus Christ, people receive forgiveness, peace, purpose, fulfillment, and life eternal in heaven.

What we have to offer outshines even the invention of Wi-Fi. Let’s share it.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for the treasure of the gospel. Give me opportunities this week to share my treasure with 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.

Fatal Flaw – June 4, 2018

Mon, Jun 04, 2018

One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
Mark 2:23-24

Fatal Flaw
Daily Devotion – June 4, 2018

Devotion based on Mark 2:23-24
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180604dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

The Pharisees had a fatal flaw. They were always intent on finding fault with others. Their main target was Jesus. On this occasion, however, they directed their attention to Jesus’ disciples. It seemed the disciples provided their accusers with a golden opportunity. As they walked through a field, they picked some heads of grain to eat. According to the Pharisees this was work, harvesting on the Sabbath.

Their assault on the disciples might have worked if Jesus didn’t call attention to their fatal flaw. While he didn’t defend his disciples’ actions, he did reveal the Pharisees abuse of the other commandments. In their fervor to keep the Sabbath Day, they rejected the other commandments, especially the ones which required them to love others. This was their fatal flaw.

Jesus’ exposure of their sin is what I need on a daily basis. It is easy for me to compare myself with others. I especially like comparing myself with those whose decisions, choices and lives are what I consider worse than mine. I can easily point out their misdeeds, and quickly feel better about myself because I am not like them. When I embark upon this self-righteous comparison, I am no different than the Pharisees. My fatal flaw is theirs.

This is why I need Jesus to uncover my sin of arrogance and self-centeredness. I also need to hear his call to repent. As I acknowledge and sincerely confess my guilt, he leads me to the forgiveness he provides. He directs me to his sinless life—every commandment perfectly kept. He leads me to his cross—every act of disobedience completely washed away. He even opens my eyes to his undeserved love—every reason I need to serve him and others in love.

Here is the only way I can address my fatal flaw: In Jesus I receive forgiveness. In Jesus I receive new strength and hope. In Jesus I receive the love that leads me to be loving.

Prayer:
O dearest Savior, remove my self-righteous pride. Replace it with your undeserved and unselfish love, and lead me to live in love with 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.

Going to Heaven – June 3, 2018

Sun, Jun 03, 2018

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Matthew 7:21-23

Going to Heaven
Daily Devotion – June 3, 2018

Devotion based on Matthew 7:21-23
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180603dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Many people think being a Christian is all about treating people fairly, doing to others what you want them to do to you, always doing the right thing in your life. While those are all good things, none of them makes a person a Christian.

Jesus said there would be people who do miracles and preach in his name and still not go to heaven. Only those who do the will of God are going to heaven. If I keep the Ten Commandments then, does that make me a Christian?

No, because I can’t keep the Ten Commandments. For God requires that not only my actions be perfectly conformed to his holy will, he also commands the same for my words and even my thoughts! Don’t murder includes not yelling in anger at the crazy driver who cut me off in traffic. Don’t steal includes not complaining about the lack of things in my life that I see others having in theirs. Don’t commit adultery includes not doing anything that hurts my marriage—ignoring or criticizing my spouse.

Despite my many failures to obey God’s commands, I know I am going to heaven. I’m absolutely certain! How can I be sure?

Jesus gave his life for me. He kept all the Ten Commandments in my place. He offered his life as payment for all the sins I’ve done—the complaining and hurting and yelling and thousands of other sinful actions, words, and thoughts.

I’m going to heaven because of Jesus. Nothing I do. Nothing I can do. Jesus has done it all for me. Not because I founded an orphanage, or gave blood numerous times to the Red Cross, or did other “Christian works.” Jesus will welcome me home because he fulfilled God’s will perfectly as my substitute. Heaven is his gift to me.

Even better, heaven is Jesus’ gift to you also. Being a Christian is not about what you do. Being a Christian is trusting Jesus who has done everything for you. He has forgiven you at the cost of his own life.

Prayer:
Jesus, forgive me for taking false pride in the Christian things I do. Thanks for your unearned love and forgiveness, and the gift of heaven which you give to me by faith alone. Help me do the right things and treat people fairly as a simple way of thanking you for your gift of heaven. 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.

A Different Way – June 2, 2018

Sat, Jun 02, 2018

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. … Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
Romans 3:21-25a, 27-28

A Different Way
Daily Devotion – June 2, 2018

Devotion based on Romans 3:21-25a, 27-28
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20180602dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

A two-year-old boy stubbornly seeks to gain his independence. As he searches, he develops a favorite phrase that quickly becomes a refrain in his life: “Me do it! Me do it by myself!” He wants to tie his own shoes: “Me do it by myself!” He wants to buckle himself in his car seat: “Me do it by myself!” He wants to pour his own glass of milk: “Me do it by myself!” Independence is a wonderful thing for a child to seek, unless, of course, he has not yet developed the ability to complete such tasks by himself. If he can’t yet tie his own shoes or buckle his own car seat or pour his own milk, the end result will only be frustration and failure and puddles of milk on the floor.

We human beings, by our natures, want to operate exactly that same way when it comes to our relationship with God. Our grammar may be a little better, but the message remains the same: “I want to get right with God by myself!” And, by our very natures, we stubbornly think that we can.

We think God will be happy with us if we observe most of his laws most of the time or, at least, if we observe most of his laws better than most others do. But here’s the problem: Our holy God demands perfection from us. And not just most of the time. All of the time. Because none of us can claim that sort of perfection on our own, what the Bible says is true of all of us: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We have failed to meet our holy God’s holy standards. That failure to observe all of God’s laws absolutely perfectly leads to a much worse result than puddles of milk on the floor. Our sin should result in eternal death in hell.

This is why God planned a different way for us to be saved from hell. Because he knew we could not obtain righteousness (perfection) on our own, he planned to give it to us as a gift. He sent his Son Jesus into the world in order to live the righteous life we could not and to pay the price we owed for our sins through his death. Christ did all of that work in our place, as our substitute. And now, God offers Jesus’ perfectly righteous life to us as a free gift—a free gift that he gives to us through faith. God’s Word clearly says, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”

“I want to get right with God by myself!” Faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior leads us to strike that stubborn phrase from our vocabulary—that stubborn attitude from our lives—forever! Faith in Jesus Christ leads us to cling instead to Christ and his righteousness as the only way to get right with God and as the only way to heaven.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, grant me a heart that despairs of myself and my own failed attempts to gain righteousness before God. In its place, grant me a heart that trusts only in you and the righteousness you won for me through your 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.