WELS Daily Devotions

Focus on Better Days – December 4, 2016

Sun, Dec 04, 2016

“ ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.’ ”
Jeremiah 33:14-16

Focus on Better Days
Daily Devotion – December 4, 2016

Devotion based on
Jeremiah 33:14-16
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161204dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

We often look ahead to better days. We say things like: “If I can just make it until Christmas break, then I won’t have to go to school for a while and things will be better.” Or, “if I can just make it through this bout of pneumonia, then I can go back home and be healthy again.” So much of our lives are spent looking ahead to better days.

To make matters worse, in this sinful world we are surrounded by wickedness and evil. Sin and temptation are on every side. It’s exhausting to be a Christian. And so we find ourselves looking ahead to better days–days when sin will no longer be a part of our existence and we can enjoy perfect peace in heaven.

But waiting for those better days is difficult. If we are honest, we see how the sinful world is rubbing off on us. We find the sins of this world to be a little more “normal” than they used to be. We become more accepting of things that God despises. Our attitudes towards wealth and possessions begin to match the attitudes of this world.

God says through Jeremiah: “I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.” Jesus is the Branch who came to this world and lived a perfect life in our place. He also did what was “just,” as he gave himself in our place to suffer and die for our sins. He bled…He suffered…He died. God’s justice was satisfied. We are forgiven! The Branch brings righteousness–righteousness that he earned and freely gives to us through faith.

Dear friends, whatever you are experiencing now, know that in Christ, better days are here and better days are yet to come. Jesus makes each day a better day through his gift of righteousness. Better days are coming when he will take us to be with him in heaven. Lift up your heads and look for those better days.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, thank you for the promise of better days to come in heaven. Keep my eyes focused on those better days to come, and help each day to be a better one with you and your Word. 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 Friendly

Prepare Your Heart to Meet Jesus – December 3, 2016

Sat, Dec 03, 2016

“Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.
Malachi 3:1-4

Prepare Your Heart to Meet Jesus
Daily Devotion – December 3, 2016

Devotion based on Malachi 3:1-4
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161203dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Did you ever get soap in your eye? Perhaps you accidentally rubbed some sanitizer into a recent paper cut. That really stings, doesn’t it? Something like that causes discomfort. It is often bad enough to make us cry out in pain. It can be a very painful few seconds or even minutes. That’s why children don’t want dad or mom to clean out a recent cut or scrape.

Repentance works the same way. It is painful to admit sin. Admitting that we have sinned also brings discomfort. We don’t like to admit the greed or apathy or lust or hatred. Like the child with the skin cut, we try to hide our sin. We try to avoid the painful but necessary cleansing process.

Failing to clean out a wound allows it to fester. It can lead to infection, illness and even ultimately death. In that case, a little discomfort in getting cleaned up is a good thing. Similarly, sin that is not cleansed through repentance is equally dangerous for our souls. Repentance prevents sin from festering and infecting our faith. Sin that is not addressed can ultimately lead to unbelief and eternal death in hell.

The season of Advent is a time to prepare our souls for Jesus’ return. Use the time to humbly repent of your sins and to let the gospel heal you. Like a launderer uses soap, let God’s Word do its important work of cleansing your soul in Christ. He alone purifies us from all sin.Put your faith in him.

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, use your law and gospel to prepare my heart to meet you. Purify me from sin and wash me clean in your blood. 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 Friendly

Crowned with Glory and Honor – December 2, 2016

Fri, Dec 02, 2016

What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
Psalm 8:4-5

Crowned with Glory and Honor
Daily Devotion – December 2, 2016

Devotion based on Psalm 8:4-5
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161202dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

The news recently showed a horrible bus accident. A school bus carrying dozens of children crashed into a tree, turned over on its side, and left such a mangled mess that it took six hours to get everyone out of the bus. The result was devastating. Many were injured. Five children died. The news showed a picture of the bus driver responsible for the accident. The picture they showed was taken after the accident; after the young man had been charged with a crime and taken to the police station. It was his mugshot. And something about the picture jumped out at me. I noticed his eyes. They were bloodshot, as if he had been crying very deeply, no doubt because the reality of what he did began to sink in.

He’s not the only one to see eyes like that when he looks in the mirror. I have too. I’m guessing you have as well. Maybe you never caused a devastating accident, but you may have done something that caused someone else to feel pain. You may have been reckless with your life, or with someone else’s. You may have hurt someone’s feelings. You may have had a day on which you were surprised by how easy it was to do the wrong thing, or to think of yourself at the expense of someone else. There are any number of reasons you might know what it’s like to look in the mirror and feel shame.

How remarkable, then, is the assurance we find in this psalm, that our God not only still cares for us, but covers our shame with a crown of glory and honor; a crown that was given when the Son of God came into this world covered with soft, newborn baby skin that one day would be mangled on a cross so that all of our sin, guilt, and shame could be forgiven.

Whenever the reality of your sin begins to sink in, look to the cross of Jesus and remember the reality of God’s enduring care for all mankind.

Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for your gracious care over our lives. Help us to see and appreciate the crown of glory that covers our shame, earned for us by our Savior Jesus. Amen.

The devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in December lead us in Songs from the Psalms.

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 Friendly

Promises Kept – December 1, 2016

Thu, Dec 01, 2016

I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”
Psalm 2:7

Promises Kept
Daily Devotion – December 1, 2016

Devotion based on Psalm 2:7
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161201dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Promises. Promises. President-elect Donald Trump has made a lot of them, leaving us to wonder if he’ll really follow through.

God has made a lot of promises too. However, there is no need to wonder if God will follow through on his promises, because God always makes good on his word.

The days before Christmas are a perfect time to ponder the most important promise ever made and the most difficult promise ever to keep. That promise was made immediately after Adam and Eve plunged themselves—and the entire world—into sin. God confronted them about what they had done, and then—with a love so great no human can ever understand it—he made a promise: “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 3:15).

Those words were spoken to the devil, but they were a promise of hope for Adam and Eve, and for all people. This was God’s promise of forgiveness and salvation. It foreshadowed the time when Jesus would crush the devil’s head and undo the devil’s damage by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

Talk about a big promise! Satan immediately went to work to derail God’s plan even as God went to work to fulfill it perfectly. But when God makes a promise, it’s as good as done. Don’t forget that. Look at the rock-solid certainty of God’s word as he spoke in the Garden: “He WILL crush your head.”

Look at the certainty of his promise in Psalm 2:7. “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” Those words pointed ahead to the coming Christ and were written about a thousand years before Jesus was even born. And yet, God makes it plain that as far as he’s concerned, it’s as good as done. He doesn’t say, “The Lord is doing his best and if everything comes together, this may just work—but keep your fingers crossed!” No. God declares in Psalm 2 that his will is done. Nations can conspire against God and his plan…to no avail. The devil can plot, scheme and seethe…so what?

Here’s what Jesus himself had to say about the biggest promise ever made and the most difficult promise ever to keep: “It is finished” (John 19:30). God kept his promise. Your sins are forgiven. Through faith in God’s Son, heaven is your home. And something else: if God can keep this promise, he can most assuredly keep any other. Discover what those other promises are and be assured of this…

He will keep those too.

Prayer:
O Lord, my God, thank you that your promises never fail. Amen!

The devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in December will lead us in Songs from the Psalms.

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 Friendly

Perfect Peace – November 30, 2016

Wed, Nov 30, 2016

Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
Isaiah 2:4

Perfect Peace
Daily Devotion – November 30, 2016

Devotion based on Isaiah 2:4
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161130dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

In recent years there have been a variety of songs about what a horrible thing war is, and they call for no more war. Wouldn’t that be a marvelous thing? It would be great!

The problem is, we are sinful human beings. Sinful human beings are selfish, become angry, desire to lord it over others, harbor hatred. And of course, often that leads to outbursts of anger, to fights, to violence, and yes, even to war. The only way the problem of war can be solved is if the problem of sin can be solved.

In the Advent Season, we are celebrating the solution to the problem of sin. During Advent we prepare to again celebrate the birth of Jesus. Even as we say his name, we are reminded why Jesus came—to save his people from their sins. In Jesus we have forgiveness! In Jesus we have life eternal! In Jesus we have the solution to sin! And in heaven, we will enjoy it completely.

Oh wouldn’t it be great if there were no more wars on this earth? It would be marvelous, wouldn’t it? Certainly it’s appropriate for us to pray that God would send peace between peoples and between nations. Pray for that! And pray for leaders to pursue peace!

On this side of eternity, though, there will never be perfect peace. Sadly, on this side of eternity there will always be wars.

But not on the other side of eternity! In heaven there will be perfect peace, perfect joy, perfect harmony! Rejoice in the peace God has given you now through Jesus, for your sins really are forgiven! And look forward to the amazing peace which awaits you in life eternal!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, if it is your will, prevent wars on this earth. But even more importantly, focus our attention on the perfect peace which you have won for us, and which we will enjoy 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. Print Friendly

Wake-up Call – November 29, 2016

Tue, Nov 29, 2016

The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Romans 13:11-14

Wake-up Call
Daily Devotion – November 29, 2016

Devotion based on Romans 13:11-14
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161129dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Perhaps you have stayed at a hotel that offers a wake-up call service as one of its amenities. You call the front desk and let them know the time you would like to wake up. They take down your information and give you a call at the proper time so you won’t miss any important meetings or appointments.

But there are other kinds of wake-up calls as well. A 45-year-old coworker has chest pains and is taken by ambulance to the hospital with a heart attack. It is a wake-up call that reminds you to take care of your own health. A head-on collision sends five teens to the hospital. Preliminary investigation shows one of the drivers was texting. It is a wake-up call for teens and adults alike to consider how they use electronic devices when they are driving.

Wake-up calls jolt us. They open our eyes. They make us realize that we have gotten shortsighted, lazy and too comfortable in an unhealthy or unsafe situation. Wake-up calls implore us to action.

Our reading for today is another type of wake-up call. It is a wake-up call from God. With these words God shakes us and reminds us that this world will not last forever and the time that we will leave it draws closer each day. The problem is that we get consumed with physical things and the concerns of this life. Our conduct shows this as we engage in sinful activities that reflect our shortsighted selfish focus. We gratify the desires of the flesh. We do things that make us feel good in the moment without realizing the disastrous results they have for our current relationship with God and our eternal future. We need to wake up!

But God not only tells us to wake up, but also to get dressed. We are to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. The first part of being clothed with Jesus is to believe in him. We clothe ourselves with Jesus as we confess our sin to God and receive the forgiveness that Jesus has won for us. God tells us that Jesus’ righteousness is like a robe that we put on through faith. When God looks at us, he sees this robe we have in Jesus. He no longer sees the wrong that we have done, but rather the perfection that Jesus has given to us.

We will also begin to clothe ourselves with good works. Remember that clothes are what other people see when they look at us. When people look at us, they can’t see a changed heart, but they can definitely see a changed life that follows a changed heart. We will live a life that shows our thanks and love for God as well as a life that shows love to others. No longer will we be spiritually sleepwalking through life, but our actions will show the spiritual awakening that has taken place inside of us.

I don’t know if Jesus will return to this earth before I die. But what I do know is that the day of my death or the day of Jesus’ return—whichever comes first, is one day closer than it was yesterday. But I don’t need to be afraid of this day and neither do you. In Jesus, we are awake. We live by faith. We are ready.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for sending me a wake-up call. Through your Holy Spirit, lead me to live a life that reflects your great love for me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Print Friendly

Are you ready? – November 28, 2016

Mon, Nov 28, 2016

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
Matthew 24:42-44

Are you ready?
Daily Devotion – November 28, 2016

Devotion based on Matthew 24:42-44
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161128dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Would our nation’s military be ready for an attack if they only worked weekdays? If on weekends, all military personnel were sent home to spend time with their families, weekends would make us nervous. We would not feel secure if our armed forces were only sometimes ready for an attack by a foreign power. We want them to always be ready.

Are you always ready? Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross, rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. Jesus promised to return on the Last Day.

When? When will Jesus return? When will our last day be? Jesus didn’t say, so we don’t know. Jesus simply said: “Be ready.” Each and every day—be ready. Are you always ready for that day?

If our readiness depends on us, we should be very nervous. You and I get distracted by so many things in life—good and bad things. We get consumed by work, by family, by sports, by politics. We cave in to temptation. We are selfish instead of loving. We let fear and anger and worry grip and control our hearts. Does it sound like we’re always ready for Jesus’ return?

God makes us ready for Jesus’ return. He doesn’t start by reforming our actions. God starts by cleansing our hearts and minds. In his undeserved and unconditional love, God sent Jesus to live, die, rise and rule for you. God forgives you and through faith in Jesus makes you his child. He gives you peace now and heaven as your eternal home.

God cleanses your heart and prepares you for Jesus’ return. But God doesn’t keep that good work neatly and secretively tucked away in your heart. The apostle Paul, a follower of Jesus and a missionary, wrote: “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). A grace-filled, Jesus-focused heart is very active.

You don’t know the day Jesus will return. But you are ready for Jesus’ return. You are ready, not because of your goodness, but because of God’s grace. You are ready not because of all you’ve done, but because of all Jesus did for you.

Prayer:
Jesus, keep my eyes and my heart focused on you and ready for your return. In your grace, forgive my sins. In your grace, move my heart and my hands to serve you today and until I see you face-to-face. 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 Friendly

Watch the Signs – November 27, 2017

Sun, Nov 27, 2016

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Luke 21:25-28

Watch the Signs
Daily Devotion – November 27, 2017

Devotion based on Luke 21:25-28
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161127dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Paul was enjoying his ride across the central plains. The road was long and straight. The weather was glorious. Even the traffic was lighter than normal. Nothing could have been better.

Paul’s trip suddenly came to an abrupt stop. In back of his car were flashing red and blue lights. Slowly he pulled over expecting the patrol car to pass him. Much to his dismay, the officer slowed and motioned him to pull over. Paul was shocked. He was even more surprised when the officer asked him, “Didn’t you see the speed limit sign?” Paul had completely missed the sign. After he received a ticket and a warning from the officer, Paul paid more careful attention to the signs.

Paul’s experience helps me understand what Jesus was telling his disciples. When he said, “There will be signs,” his lesson was simple. You need to watch them.

You need to watch the signs. In love my Savior has given signs to prepare me for his coming. Each one alerts me to the fact he is closer than the previous day. This is why I need to pay careful attention to the signs. Not only do they warn me of challenging times ahead, they also comfort me with the assurance of my redemption.

My Lord has not abandoned me in this world. He is always with me, and he wants me to be confident and at peace. In spite of the problems which swarm and circle around me, he gives me every reason to trust him and rely on his blessing. I can have this confidence because he has redeemed me. He has paid the price for my forgiveness. He has also paid the price to release me from the fear of death and the guilt of sin. Even more important he has redeemed me so I can be his forever.

This is why I want to be ready for his return. I long to be with the Lord and live with him in his glory. This is why I watch the signs now.

Prayer:
O gracious Savior, you have released me from the fear of death and the grave. You have also released me from the tyranny of the devil. Because you have redeemed me by your shed blood, lead me to live every day watching the signs and waiting for your glorious return. 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 Friendly

A Different kind of King – November 26, 2016

Sat, Nov 26, 2016

Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
John 18:33-37

A Different kind of King
Daily Devotion – November 26, 2016

Devotion based on John 18:33-37
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161126dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Special forces appear out of nowhere with high-powered weapons drawn. Each of the troops is equipped with night-vision because the power had just been cut off to the building. In the confusion, any enemy that wanders too close to a window is cut down by a bullet fired by a sniper stationed almost a mile away. Moments later, when the scene becomes settled and the lights are turned back on, few of the enemies are left standing, and the head of state has been freed.

That’s what we expect to happen when a king, or president, or other powerful political leader falls into enemy hands. That’s not what happened when Jesus was captured. There was no special ops mission; no soldiers bravely organizing a daring rescue. His legions of powerful angels were left on standby as their master suffered brutal beatings and was dragged before the Roman Governor for trial.

Jesus is a different kind of king. This is the King who truly loves his subjects so much that he did not want his angelic warriors to fight for his release. The whole reason he was born into this world was to take care of his people’s greatest need. In order to do that, he had to be arrested, beaten, put on trial, and ultimately executed.

Jesus came into our world to testify to the truth. That truth is sin destroys, but because he loves you and me, our King chose to bear the destruction of our sin in our place. That is why, even though he had the power to free himself, he willingly stood there on trial awaiting the suffering that you and I deserve–all so that we can be free and live eternally.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, my King, thank you for the love that you showed in willingly taking my place and winning forgiveness and eternal life for me. 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 Friendly

One Sacrifice–For All Sins, For All Time – November 25, 2016

Fri, Nov 25, 2016

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.
Hebrews 10:11-12

One Sacrifice–For All Sins, For All Time
Daily Devotion – November 25, 2016

Devotion based on Hebrews 10:11-12
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161125dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Day after day the Old Testament priests offered sacrifices because God had directed them to do so. But the writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us that these sacrifices did not take away sins. This raises a question: Then why offer the sacrifices at all?

This wasn’t just ritual for the sake of ritual, sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice, or blood for the sake of blood. It all had meaning. The shedding and sprinkling of blood reminded the people that they were sinners. It reminded them that they had no business coming before God—in fact they could not come before God with sin and its guilt still on their hands and in their hearts. It reminded them that their sin separated them from God. It reminded them that their sin had to be atoned for. It reminded them that they needed someone to mediate for them. It all pointed ahead to the Savior who was to come. It all pointed ahead to Jesus.

The sacrifice Jesus made was similar yet very different from the sacrifices offered by the Old Testament priests. Jesus’ sacrifice didn’t have to be done over and over again, day after day and year after year. It was done once. And that sacrifice did not consist of the blood of bulls or goats. It was the sacrifice of Jesus himself, the holy precious blood of God’s own Son. One sacrifice—for all sins, for all time.

So today we are taken not to the Old Testament Tabernacle or Temple Court, but to a hill outside Jerusalem. There we see Jesus, the sinless Son of God, hanging on a cross. Some mock him and challenge him to come down. He could, but he doesn’t. He stays. He stays on the cross and endures the punishment, the hell we sinners deserve. He stays and sheds his innocent blood for our sins and for the sins of the world. Then he proclaims, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). And it is! It will not, it cannot, it need not be repeated ever again.

Jesus suffered, Jesus died, Jesus rose, Jesus ascended, and Jesus sat down at the right hand of God. All of this assures you: your sins have been forgiven.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, thank you for putting your Word in my heart and on my mind. By this Word assure me that you remember my sins no more; they have been forgiven—in Christ, the perfect Sacrifice for all sins for all time! 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 Friendly

Friendship – November 24, 2016

Thu, Nov 24, 2016

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?
1 Thessalonians 3:9

Friendship
Daily Devotion – November 24, 2016

Devotion based on 1 Thessalonians 3:9
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161124dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Jackie Robinson was in real distress. He had recently become the first African American to play Major League Baseball, and things were not going well. He faced hostility from the opposing team. He faced hostility from the fans. He even faced resentment and suspicion from his own teammates. Then came the day when things got worse. While playing 2nd base, Jackie committed an error. Immediately the stadium erupted with taunting and derision.

Then, something wonderful happened. The legendary shortstop, Pee Wee Reese, trotted over and put his arm around Jackie’s shoulder. The taunting stopped. It stopped because, with that simple gesture, Reese was signaling a message to the entire stadium. The message was, “Jackie Robinson is my teammate, and Jackie Robinson is my friend.” Robinson, of course, went on to be a Hall of Famer. But he never forgot what Pee Wee’s act of friendship had done. That arm around his shoulder, Robinson later said, had saved his career.

The holiday season is a superb time to stop for a moment and consider how the Lord has blessed you through friendship. Think about the friend who gave you an encouraging word just when you needed it, and the friend who gave you an example of courage for you to follow. Think about the friend whose need gave you what you really needed – an opportunity to serve. Think about the friend who was patient with you when you were not being very loveable, and the friend who makes you laugh. Think about the friend who is quietly praying for you, and the friend whose very life reminds you that you are not the only one who carries burdens in this broken world. Think about the friend who has demonstrated what it means to forgive, and the friend who so often helps you remember all the things you have to be thankful for.

But even if you’re in a moment in your life when you feel isolated, as if an entire stadium of people has turned its back, never forget the Best Friend you have. Never forget the One who died and rose to claim you as his own. Jesus stands beside you with his arm around your shoulder. And by your side he is going to stay.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you are my dearest Friend. Thank you for blessing me in so many ways. And thank you for standing by my side. 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 Friendly

Our Righteous Savior-King- November 23, 2016

Wed, Nov 23, 2016

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.”
Jeremiah 23:5-6

Our Righteous Savior-King
Daily Devotion – November 23, 2016

Devotion based on Jeremiah 23:5-6
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161123dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Those of us who live in the United States have just survived another presidential campaign. For over a year, we have been bombarded with countless messages from all sorts of political candidates, all promising that, if elected, they will do wonderful things for us. If elected, they will raise our incomes. If elected, they will keep us safe. If elected, they will make our grievances right. However, past presidential elections show us that we cannot count on candidates always to fulfill their promises once they are elected. Sometimes, what they’ve promised us simply is impossible. Sometimes, it is beyond their ability to accomplish, even though they try. Sometimes, their promises were a ploy to get us to vote for them. It is foolish for us to place all our confidence in earthly rulers, for they will never be able to do everything that they promised.

There is a ruler, however, in whom we can place absolute confidence. A ruler who can do for us what no earthly ruler can do. A ruler who always keeps his promises. This perfect ruler is Jesus, whom God describes for us in today’s Bible passage. Jesus is the righteous Branch from the family tree of King David. And as he rules the universe, everything he does is wise, just, and right. No one can bribe Jesus into doing anything unfair. No one can persuade him to do anything that is not what is best for his people.

As we live under Jesus’ wise and fair rule, we are safe—not just physically safe from physical enemies, but spiritually safe from all our spiritual enemies. Because our King suffered the punishment for all our sins when he suffered and died on the cross, we are forgiven from all our sins. Because he fought Satan head-on and won, we are rescued from hell. Because he has given us his own perfection, we are absolutely holy in God’s sight. The name by which our King is called describes both him and his work perfectly. He truly is the Lord Our Righteous Savior.

Earthly rulers will inevitably let us down. Jesus, our righteous Savior-King, never will. Place your confidence in him, and rejoice in the blessings that are yours as you live in his kingdom.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, my righteous Savior-King, rule in my heart and keep me always as a member of your gracious kingdom. 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 Friendly

Rescued! – November 22, 2016

Tue, Nov 22, 2016

[God the Father] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:13-14

Rescued!
Daily Devotion – November 22, 2016

Devotion based on Colossians 1:13-14
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161122dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

It is a time of intense drama as volunteers frantically dig through rubble to rescue helpless victims after an earthquake. Immense energy is expended to free those trapped in the darkness of demolished ruins. What a relief when a victim is recovered alive and brought to safety!

We were all in need of rescue. Darkness surrounded us as we were trapped under the curse of our own sin, unable to escape. Powerless to push away our guilt, we were destined to face the impenetrable darkness of eternal death.

The Lord came to our rescue. In his infinite mercy, the heavenly Father sent his own dear Son to rescue us from our helpless condition. Jesus is the perfect Son who lifted the immeasurable weight of our guilt from us. We are innocent because Jesus’ innocence has been freely given to us. Jesus is also the sacrificial Son who willingly carried the heavy load of our sin to the cross, where he bled and died to pay the penalty for our sin completely. What a relief it is to know that we have been brought out of darkness and into the light of forgiveness!

The Lord rescued us by removing us from the darkness of despair and death, and delivering us to a place of unshakable safety. That place of refuge is “the kingdom of the Son he loves.” God the Father loves his Son for the rescue mission of mankind completed by the Son. The same love that rests upon God’s Son also rests upon those who by faith are within the kingdom of the Son he loves.

No matter how earth-shaking the events of life may become, we are confident of the deliverance our Savior won for us. Jesus’ kingdom will endure forever and we are overjoyed to know he has brought us into that kingdom by his grace.

One day we will dwell with our Savior-King in the heavenly kingdom that he has promised us through his word. In our eternal home we will dwell forever with the King of kings in the secure safety won for us by his love.

Prayer:
Almighty and merciful Father, I am forever grateful for rescuing me from the darkness of despair and death through Jesus, your beloved Son. Thank you for the light of the Savior that continues to emanate through my life as I await his triumphant return when you will bring me into the heavenly kingdom of glory. 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 Friendly

Jesus is the King – November 21, 2016

Mon, Nov 21, 2016

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at [Jesus]. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:35-43

Jesus is the King
Daily Devotion – November 21, 2016

Devotion based on Luke 23:35-43
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161121dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

We’ve recently navigated through this year’s tumultuous presidential race and election. Have you ever gotten the feeling that some of the people involved are self-serving? That they care more about themselves than those they hope to represent? They aim to win at all costs. They will promise anything. They tear down their opponent with truths and half-truths. During an election does it ever feel like some of the candidates, the media and even the general public are simply being self-serving?

Jesus is the King. However, Jesus steered clear of politics. He wasn’t interested in overthrowing the government, winning a popular vote or saying things just to get big headlines or people’s approval.

An interesting thing Jesus, the King, said: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This wasn’t a campaign speech to score popularity points. This was Jesus’ holy, sincere and loving mission. Jesus came to live, suffer, die and rise for sinners like you and me.

As the King, Jesus was suffering and dying while people watched, mocked and taunted him. They said: “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

They had missed the point. Jesus, the King of the Jews (and of all people), hadn’t come to escape pain, win votes and rule an earthly kingdom. Jesus came to live, suffer, die and rise for sinners like you and me.

Many of the people and the rulers just did not get it. But a criminal crucified right next to Jesus did. Before he died, the criminal turned to Jesus and made a request: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus, his King, responded: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Jesus, your King, came to serve and give up his life for you. He rose and now rules for you. Do you know this? Do you trust your King? Those who do will be with their King forever in paradise.

Prayer:
Jesus, my Savior and King, thank you for your love. You served, lived, died and rose for me. Through you I have forgiveness and the sure hope of eternal life with you. Keep me faithful to you and serving you, my King, until you take me home to paradise with 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 Friendly

Look, Your King Is Coming! – November 20, 2016

Sun, Nov 20, 2016

Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 1:4b-8

Look, Your King Is Coming!
Daily Devotion – November 20, 2016

Devotion based on Revelation 1:4b-8
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161120dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Think about the excitement as grandma and grandpa pull into the driveway on Thanksgiving or Christmas. How about the excitement of meeting a celebrity or important government official? Imagine your joy and excitement as you meet your greatest earthly hero. Now multiply that by 100. By 1000. Multiply it infinitely.

That is the joy and excitement of a Christian experiencing Jesus’ return.

Why? Because…
• Jesus is the faithful witness, the revealer of God’s will for you and all people, for time and for eternity.
• Jesus is the firstborn from the dead, winning and guaranteeing your resurrection and eternal life.
• Jesus is the ruler of the kings of the earth, the one who is over all, whose kingdom never falters or fails.
• Jesus loves you with an unfailing love, a love that never wavers or quits.
• Jesus has freed you from your sins though his blood, the perfect once-for-all payment for sin.
• Jesus has made you to be a priest in his kingdom, raising you up and enabling you to serve by declaring his praises in the world around you.
• Jesus has all glory and power for ever and ever.
• Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of everything good and noble, deep and lasting.
• Jesus is your living Savior.
• Jesus is true God from all eternity.
• Jesus will come again.

People stand in line for hours to get the autograph of a celebrity or sports hero. Hours for some ink on a scrap of paper. So much greater are the characteristics, qualifications, and accomplishments of Jesus that our earthly celebrities and heroes don’t even begin to compare with the Lord God Almighty.

Think again about all that Jesus is and does. Then look to him. Look in faith. Look in hope. Look with joy. Look with excitement! Look, your King is coming!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, by your victory you have broken the power of the evil one. Fill our hearts with joy and peace as we look with hope to that day when every creature in heaven and earth will acclaim you King of kings and Lord of lords to your unending praise and glory; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Print Friendly

Who is Ruling? – November 19, 2016

Sat, Nov 19, 2016

There before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
Daniel 7:13,14

Who is Ruling?
Daily Devotion – November 19, 2016

Devotion based on Daniel 7:13,14
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161119dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Look at the world, and you might wonder, “Who is ruling?” The hate, the terrorism, the persecution, the threat in the Middle East, the looming “fiscal cliff”–all of it makes everything feel so chaotic and unsure. Really, who is ruling?

If you saw who is ruling, you might have to do a double-take. There is nothing in his appearance that stands out and screams “king material.” He looks like us. He calls himself “the Son of man” (John 3:13). If you are not careful, he might disappoint you. If you are so obsessed with him providing a better life here and now, you might even turn against him. Many did. They cried, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

But look closer at the one who is ruling. The one who even the winds and the waves obey is the one who hung on the cross for sinners and cried, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). He is the one who comforted the thief on the cross and promised, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). As he died, he is the one who moved a Roman officer to exclaim, “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54). And when all seemed chaotic and unsure to his closest disciples, he is the one who removed all their doubt when he said to them in person, “Peace be with you” (Luke 24:36).

This is the same one who rules your heart with his grace and Spirit. This is the same one who sustains your faith with his forgiving love in Word and sacrament. And this is the same one who promises to come back for you. He is the one you will see on the clouds of heaven, the one for whose name every knee will bow and every tongue confess, the one who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Who is ruling? He is the Christ the Lord!

Prayer:
Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Come quickly! 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 Friendly

Keep Yourselves From Idols – November 18, 2016

Fri, Nov 18, 2016

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
1 John 5:19-21

Keep Yourselves From Idols
Daily Devotion – November 18, 2016

Devotion based on 1 John 5:19-21
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161118dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

The nations of the ancient world worshiped idols and called them their gods. Even today some remain in the darkness of gross idolatry, laying sacrifices before invented gods made of wood or stone or precious metals. But certainly a believer in the one true God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—would not need a warning against idolatry! And yet, the First Commandment given to the Lord’s Old Testament believers declared, “You shall have no other gods before me.” And writing to Christian believers in the New Testament, the apostle John ends his first letter with the solemn charge, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”

An idol does not always take the form of a statue or a graven image. The sin of idolatry is giving your heart to anyone or anything besides the Lord God. In his book Your Father Loves You, British author James Packer wrote of various “unholy trinities” like Sex, Shekels, and Stomach which really form a single false god: self. Maybe in your case it is Pleasure, Possessions, and Position. Or perhaps Football, the Firm, and Family occupy the primary places in your heart, with little or no room for the one true God.

In different ways we all have fallen into the worship of idols and have lost sight of the Lord. None of these false gods can save us from the coming judgment. God’s word exposes the sin of idolatry in our hearts so that we might turn to him in repentance. That same word reveals to us that God the Father sent his eternal Son Jesus Christ into the world to be our Savior. He is the true God and he alone can give us life with meaning now and eternal life when we die.

Jesus calls to you to put aside your idols. Look to him alone for truth and salvation. Look to his cross where he died for your sins, to his empty tomb from which he rose victorious, and to the heavens where he now reigns at the right hand of the Father.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, I worship and praise you as the one true God, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit. You gave your life for me so that I might live with you. Let me always trust in you alone. Amen.

The devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in September, October, and November are based on the book of 1 John.

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 Friendly

Confidence – November 17, 2016

Thu, Nov 17, 2016

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
1 John 5:13-15

Confidence
Daily Devotion – November 17, 2016

Devotion based on 1 John 5:13-15
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161117dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

“Are you sure?” Satan still asks, as he tries to rob you of your confidence.

John, disciple of Jesus, points out two things that will deepen your confidence, AND give reason for your as-yet-unbelieving friends to look more deeply into the truths about Jesus, when you tell them, “Yes, I’m sure.”

John’s first key that unlocks confidence is the sure knowledge that eternal life is yours.

The full confidence of knowing that you have eternal life in heaven comes with the gift of the Holy Spirit that “you believe in (you trust in) the name of the Son of God.” His given name is Jesus, which means “savior, rescuer.” A worthwhile study would be to search out as many of the Bible’s titles and descriptive names for Jesus you could find. His “name” includes all that he has done for you. It is a revealed fact, then, that God’s Son came into the world as true man and accomplished his mission perfectly. The payment of his life, death and resurrection for the sins of the world was accepted by the Father as payment in full. Trusting in Jesus and everything that his names tell you about him, you may know for a fact that you have the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Next, the wise old apostle teaches you about a second key to confidence. It regards your prayers to God: “If we ask anything according to his will.” God’s will is what God wants. The Bible reveals what God wants us to believe and do, as far as we need to know it. And for the things that only God knows, Jesus teaches us to trust as he trusted, saying, “Not my will, but yours be done.” Since we are praying for God’s good will to be done, “We know that we have what we asked of him” whether his answer be “yes,” “no,” or “wait patiently.”

That’s God-given confidence.

Prayer:
Lord, keep me sure. Amen.

The devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in September, October, and November are based on the book of 1 John.

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 Friendly

Death Will Be No More – November 16, 2016

Wed, Nov 16, 2016

“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. … Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; … For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands.”
Isaiah 65:17, 20, 22

Death Will Be No More
Daily Devotion – November 16, 2016

Devotion based on Isaiah 65:17, 20, 22
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161116dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

A friend of mine died yesterday.

He was diagnosed with leukemia in September. He underwent one course of chemotherapy that, unfortunately, didn’t do what the doctors had hoped it would. Then, just last week, he underwent a second course of chemotherapy. Things were looking okay until Sunday, when he suddenly was struck with a massive infection that began to fill his lungs with fluid. For the past several days, he with God’s strength fought valiantly. But yesterday afternoon, he died.

All this makes me profoundly sad. It broke my heart to see my friend struggling to breathe until he breathed no more. I wept, and continue to weep, with his wife, his sons, and the rest of his family. I hurt for those of our congregation, who also are mourning his death.

As Jesus was deeply troubled at the tomb of his dear friend Lazarus, I am deeply troubled. But even as I grieve, I do not grieve as one who has no hope.

I and all who grieve for my friend have hope. For we know that a time is coming when death will be no more. A time is coming when, as God says in our Bible reading for today, there will no longer be “an infant who lives only for a few days or an old man who does not live out his years.” In fact, a time is coming when there will be no death at all. Death itself will be a thing of the past and won’t even be remembered anymore.

All of this will become a reality because Jesus already has conquered death. By rising from the dead, he destroyed death’s power so that it cannot hold onto God’s people anymore. Because of this, I know that death will not hold me forever when it comes my time to die. It will not hold my friend forever either. A time is coming when we will see each other again and live in the new heaven and new earth where there is no death. And we will be with Jesus forever.

May this reality fill your heart with hope through Jesus, as you too look forward to the time when death will be no more.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for conquering death for us. Come quickly and take us to your new heaven and new earth, where death will be no 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 Friendly

Thankful for the Lord’s Eternal Love – November 15, 2016

Tue, Nov 15, 2016

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

Thankful for the Lord’s Eternal Love
Daily Devotion – November 15, 2016

Devotion based on 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20161115dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Photos often capture that special moment in the hospital when parents are able to hold their newborn child for the first time. Embodied in that first embrace is the selfless love that parents strive to give to their tiny, helpless child in the months and years that follow.

Photos could not capture the moment God first embraced us with his love. Long before
God gave birth to the earth and all living things, through Jesus he chose us to be his own. He knew us and loved us before time began.

God’s timeless love for us gives us tremendous comfort. For the Bible reminds us that we were conceived and born in sin. Like newborn babes who cannot help themselves, we were born spiritually helpless. As surely as we were unable to choose who our earthly parents would be, we also had no ability to choose God and his love. Yet he saw our helpless condition, and prepared to rescue us from sin.

In love that the human mind cannot fully embrace, God chose us to be saved. How can we be sure that he chose us? We turn to the good news of the Bible. The Word comforts us with the message of the perfect life of Christ and the cross he willingly bore for us. His death and resurrection assure us that our sins are paid in full and that God’s eternal love for us endures!

The Holy Spirit extends God’s timeless love to us through the gospel. Therefore, we can always rest assured that God chose us to be saved because he called us to faith in Jesus through the gospel.

God’s love is so great he even promises that we will share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven. No photo can capture the splendor and joy that await us in our eternal home at our Savior’s side. Since God embraces us with endless love through Jesus, we are moved to give him endless thanks with our lips and our lives.

Prayer:
(Christian Worship – A Lutheran Hymnal – 610):
Now thank we all our God with hearts and hands and voices, who wondrous things has done, in whom his world rejoices, who from our mother’s arms has blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love and still is ours today.

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 Friendly