WELS Daily Devotions

Devotion - April 1, 2015

Wed, Apr 01, 2015

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughters of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Zechariah 9:9-10


By some historians’ estimates, there have been 14,351 wars, 3.64 billion people killed in those wars, and only 292 years of peace since 3,600 B.C. Again, by those estimates, that means that in the last 5,614 years there has been peace only 5% of the time. Those same historians also estimate that in the last 3,000 years there have been 8,000 treaties made and broken. And in just the last 300 years there have been 286 wars on the continent of Europe alone.

So if you were told about a king who was going to come and lead the charge for peace while riding a donkey, would you be a little skeptical? But what if we were talking about a different kind of peace?

Think of the battles that go on within you. Think of the conflict you fight between the good you would do, but don’t do; the evil you wouldn’t do, but that you seem to keep on doing. Think how often that conflict puts you at odds with God or pits you against God. Think of how many peace treaties you’ve made with God or yourself and how many of those treaties you have broken. Now if you were told about a king who was going to come and lead the charge for peace–peace of conscience and peace between you and God–would you still be skeptical? Or would you beg to know this peacemaker?

Jesus is that peacemaker. His ride on a donkey took him into Jerusalem to do battle with the worst enemies this world has ever known–sin, death, and the devil. You know they are the worst enemies because they are the cause of your conflict. In that battle, Jesus suffered and died. But it wasn’t without purpose. “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteousness, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Nor was the outcome without triumph. Jesus was raised to life so that your sins are not counted against you. This is the peace Jesus won for the world.

Admittedly, it is a different kind of peace. But it is your peace through faith in Jesus. And you can rely on it 100% of your life. Because of Christ crucified and Christ risen, the weapons of the enemy have been taken away.

Prayer: 

Dear Lord, let me never forget the words you spoke to your disciples after you road into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). In your name I pray. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by 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.

Devotion - April 1, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 31, 2015

Tue, Mar 31, 2015

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

A Savior Worthy of Honor

The highest honor given by the United States military is the Medal of Honor. It is awarded for personal acts of valor “above and beyond the call of duty.” The Medal of Honor was created in 1861 during the Civil War and only 3,469 medals have been awarded in more than 150 years. The Medal of Honor is truly a prestigious award.

Right now the church is celebrating Holy Week. It is a time when we remember all that Jesus did by his suffering and death to pay for the sins of the entire world. Jesus went “above and beyond the call of duty” to fight for us.

In a letter to the Philippians the apostle Paul lists some of the things Jesus did for us. Even though he is true God, Jesus willingly became a man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a humble life and then, as the God-Man, gave his life as a payment for sin. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, he was crucified, died, and was buried. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sin.

Not everyone knows or appreciates Jesus’ sacrifice, but a day is coming when they will. Jesus will receive the honor and recognition he deserves. Even now Jesus sits at the right hand of God ruling the world in the best interest of his children. And he will come again as a righteous judge. At that time all will recognize him as the Almighty Lord, and his believers will celebrate his sacrifice as our perfect Savior.

This week we will watch one more time as Jesus goes to battle for the world. Take time to consider and confess your sin that made his death necessary. Never doubt for a moment that this is a fight that Jesus has fought and won for you.

Prayer: 

Lord, thank you for sending Jesus as my perfect Savior. As I reflect on the payment he made for my sin, I am assured of his great love for me. May I respond by giving him the worship and praise he deserves. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by 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.

Devotion - March 31, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 30, 2015

Mon, Mar 30, 2015

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.'" They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, "What are you doing, untying that colt?" They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!" "Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

Mark 11:1-10

Quite an Entrance

Did you see the halftime show at the Super Bowl this year? Singer Katy Perry made quite an entrance. The entire stadium went dark and, after a long dramatic pause, spotlights shown down on the pop singer who arrived riding a two-story mechanical lion. Her arrival set the tone for a dazzling display of lights and glamor that many have come to expect at a stage as big as the Super Bowl. It was quite an entrance.

I couldn’t help but think of the contrast between Katy Perry’s entrance and Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. After three years of ministry when Jesus was finally going to take center stage, he made his arrival on, of all things, a donkey. And make no mistake about it, Jesus was setting the tone. He was coming as a King, but he was coming in humility. He wasn’t coming to take things for himself. He was coming to give his life.  He was coming to make the payment for the sin of all people of all time.

The people sensed something big was happening. Some put their coats on the ground; others took palm branches and put them in Jesus’ path. They gave Jesus a king’s welcome.

They began to shout, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!" "Hosanna in the highest heaven!"  The words of the people were prophetic. They were shouting, “Lord, save us!” And that is exactly what Jesus had come to do.

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the week in which Jesus lowered himself to the depth of humility that brought him to death. Watch as Jesus makes his way to the cross to sacrifice himself to pay for sin. But make sure you keep watching until Easter when you will see his greatest victory.

Prayer: 

Dear Jesus, thank you for coming as my humble King to pay for my sin. With the people on Palm Sunday I shout, “Lord save me!” Let me live with confidence, knowing that you are my victorious king. Amen.

Read more about PALM SUNDAY.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by 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.

Devotion - March 30, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 29, 2015

Sun, Mar 29, 2015

It was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53:10-12


You are going to pay for that! My wife has used that expression with me after I have eaten some really spicy food. At the time I enjoyed it, but she knew I would be up all night with heartburn. I was going to pay for it.

In this lesson from Isaiah our just God tells us, “The Christ is going to pay for that!” When pointing ahead to Jesus Christ, Isaiah writes, “It was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer…his life will be a guilt offering…and he will bear our iniquities (sins).” Our God has every right to punish us for the wrongs that we have done and the sins that we have committed, but instead he sent us a Savior, Jesus Christ. When we consider Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross, we see this prophecy from Isaiah come true. Jesus paid for the sins that we have committed. He paid for the sins of all people for all time.

After Jesus died for our sins, he saw “the light of life.” In other words, Jesus rose from the dead. His resurrection was proof that God accepted Jesus’ payment for our sin.  Now we can stand before God perfectly forgiven. Another way that Isaiah assures us of this same truth is by saying Jesus would “justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.” The word “justify” paints the picture of a court room where a judge finds a defendant “not guilty” of a crime. Because of the payment Jesus made for us, the Lord finds us “not guilty” of any of the wrongs we have done.  When speaking about our sins, we can say with certainty, “Jesus paid for them!”

Because of his surprising love in paying for our sins, Jesus is called “great” by the prophet Isaiah. It is my prayer that you will see that greatness of Jesus. He has paid for your sins. He has restored your relationship with your Heavenly Father. He has given you a bright future.

Prayer: 

Dearest Jesus, thank you for revealing in your Word how you suffered and died to free me from the just punishment I deserve from God for my sins. Work in my heart that I may truly believe in you as my Savior to have the peace of forgiveness and the hope of life eternal with God.  Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This devotion was taken from the Daily Devotion archive.



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.

Devotion - March 29, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 28, 2015

Sat, Mar 28, 2015

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:4-6

Look Again

A prisoner on death row. A convict being prepared for lethal injection. A man on a cross…

He must have been a very bad man. He must have done something terrible. He must be getting what he deserves…

Is that what we see happening on a hill outside Jerusalem?

From the perspective of a first century observer, standing at the cross of Jesus, what do you see? A man on a cross. But not just any man. He is supposed to be some sort of spiritual leader. Yet he is a man condemned. A man suffering. A man dying. A man separated from God! God has stricken him. God has smitten him. God has afflicted him.  He must be getting what he deserves.

But wait. Look again.

From the perspective of the 700 BC prophet Isaiah, looking at the cross of Jesus, what do you see? A man on a cross. But this is no ordinary man. This is the Son of God, the promised Suffering Servant, the Savior. He is not getting what he deserves; he is sinless, perfect, holy. He is getting what we deserve. He is being pierced for our transgressions. He is being crushed for our iniquities. He is wounded and punished for us.

Now. Once more. Look again.

From the place where you stand or sit or kneel today, pondering the cross of Jesus, what do you see? Your infirmities taken up. Your sorrows carried. Your transgressions, your iniquities, your punishment—on him. And because he is the sinless, suffering, serving, saving Son of God, you see peace, healing, forgiveness.

Look again. You have peace, healing, forgiveness. In Jesus. 

Prayer: 

Lord Jesus, bless me as I look again upon your cross, pondering all that it means for the world and for me. Amen.

Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This devotion was taken from the Daily Devotion archive.

  
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.

Devotion - March 28, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 27, 2015

Fri, Mar 27, 2015

"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

Matthew 26:28

No Contract Necessary

Let’s say you want a new, top-of-the-line mobile phone. You don’t have the money to buy it, but the company selling it wants your business. So they make you a deal. They will let you have the phone if you agree to pay for it and the use of it over the course of two years. If you fail to make a payment or if you back out of the deal early, you must pay a penalty.

We would rather not enter into a contract like that, but many of us have no choice.

Something else we want, even more than a phone, is to be loved. But friends forsake, spouses betray, parents disappoint, and children turn away. Only God’s love is perfect, and he wants us to have it.

Here’s the amazing deal: God doesn’t coldly offer us a bi-lateral contract which we will resent later. If we think that mobile phone contracts are stringent, God’s legal stipulations would be impossible. You see, in order to earn God’s perfect love, God’s law says that you must be perfect. But we are completely corrupted by sin. A loving relationship with God based on a two-sided contract is impossible for us.

So instead, God offers us his love through a unilateral covenant. To show us just how much he loves us and how much he wants to share his love with us, God makes a one-sided promise: he meets the requirements for us and pays the penalty for our failures. The God-Man, Jesus, gave God the perfect obedience he demands. And he paid our penalty, once for all, by his death on the cross. Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross, sealed the deal. His blood signs the covenant that holds us in an unbreakable bond with God.

Believe it, and rejoice to be counted as a forgiven child of God. And if you are in doubt of God’s love for you, come to the Lord’s Supper. There, God assures you of his love as you receive, together with the bread and wine, the very body and blood that Jesus offered on the cross for your forgiveness.

Prayer: 

Lord Jesus, I rejoice that the sin which once separated me from God’s love was paid for in love by you. Amen.

Today's Devotion is 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.

Devotion - March 27, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 26, 2015

Thu, Mar 26, 2015

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

John 3:16-17


Over two thousand years ago, God sent his one and only Son into the world. What an event! Jesus, the eternal Son of God became fully human and lived among us.

But why did God do that? What did he send his Son into our world to do? Those are scary questions, aren’t they? After all, our world is filled with sinners who constantly break God’s laws. Sometimes the world’s sinfulness shows itself in the most blatant ways: murderers and rapists, drug dealers and slave traders, terrorists and war mongers, racists and tyrants; the list could go on and on. Sometimes the world’s sinfulness shows itself in more subtle ways: liars and gossips, the greedy and the selfish, the disrespectful and the lazy, those who hate and lust and lie and covet and look down their noses at others, those who put themselves ahead of God and who misuse his name and despise his Word; the list could go on and on.

The world is filled with people filled with sin. And so, it would make all the sense in the world for our holy God to send his one and only Son into the world to condemn the world. For all the world’s sins, such condemnation would be completely just and fair and deserved.

As scary as that thought is, the scariest part is this: You a part of the world. And not just because you live in the world, but because you are part of the crowd of sinners that fill the world. An honest examination of your own life over against God’s commands proves your sinfulness. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that we are, by our very natures, sinful. And so, we deserve nothing but condemnation from God because of our sinfulness.

But that’s why the Scripture passage before us today is so surprising, so comforting, and so filled with grace. For this Scripture passage explains exactly why God sent Jesus into the world: “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

What was once such a scary thought is now such a beautiful thought: God sent his one and only Son into the world, and he did so, not to condemn, but to save. God also reveals for us his motivation for doing so: “For God so loved the world.” God sent his one and only Son into the world in order to save the world because he loved the world.

And the most beautiful part? You are part of the world that God so loved. You are part of the world that God determined to save. You are part of the world for which God sent his Son, Jesus. That means, through faith in God’s Son, you have forgiveness for all your sins. Through faith in God’s Son, you have salvation for your soul. Through faith in God’s Son, you will live with him forever in heaven. For “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Prayer: 

Dear Father in heaven, your love for a sinful world, which you demonstrated to us in sending your Son to be our Savior, is beyond all understanding. Give us hearts that cling to the gift of Jesus in faith, that we might receive eternal life through him. Amen.

Today's Devotion is 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.

Devotion - March 26, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 25, 2015

Wed, Mar 25, 2015

“I will forgive their wickedness and will remember theirs sins no more.”

Jeremiah 31:34


I have a friend whose ex-husband died a couple of years ago. Many years after their divorce, she was still feeling the pain of the relationship. He was an abusive drug-dealer who took out his frustrations on her so regularly that she now lives with permanent brain damage because of it. When he died, she wanted to be respectful, and so she decided to attend the funeral. She asked me to go with her.

During the funeral there was an opportunity for friends and family to approach the microphone at the front of the church and say a few words about the man who had died. If you did not know this man previously, from the words that were shared that day, you would have thought he was the nicest, sweetest, kindest man who had ever lived. “He would have given you the shirt off his back,” someone said. “He cared about everyone,” said another. The one that stung my friend the worst was when someone said, “He never would have hurt anyone.” Of course, she knew the truth.

I thought of that funeral recently as I was teaching a Bible class for teenagers. One of the students asked, “At a funeral, why do people only say good things about the person who died?” I suppose there are many possible explanations. But I asked the student, “What would you want people to say about you if you were the one in the casket?” She thought about it for a little bit and then said, “I don’t think I would want them to tell the truth.”

Would you? Would you want the people who know you the best, who’ve seen you at your worst, to stand up in front of everyone and share the truth as they remember you?  This young student wasn’t an abusive drug-dealer, but she knew the truth, that when it comes to remembering our lives, it feels better to be selective. It feels better to forget certain things. It feels better to pretend that the truth isn’t really true.

But there’s no pretending in front of God. The Bible tells us that he pays such close attention to our lives that he can tell us the exact number of hairs on our head. In other words, no matter what we would like to hide from him, he knows the truth. He knows everything.

But just like those who approached the microphone at the funeral, God is selective about what he chooses to remember. “I will remember their sins no more,” he says. But he doesn’t just choose to not think about the whole truth. He chooses to remember what the sacrifice of Jesus on a cross truly means for me and you. It means our wickedness is wiped away. It means the record of our wrongs have been erased so thoroughly that not even God remembers them.

And if God doesn’t remember your sins, then why should you? Why should you spend any time dwelling on who you used to be before trusting in Christ Jesus and assured that you are holy, pure, perfect through his cleansing blood? Why should you beat yourself up about past mistakes when God only celebrates your perfect status in Christ through faith? When the truth of your sin is hard to forget, recall the truth of what God chooses to remember.

Prayer: 

Dear Father in heaven, help us to remember the cross of Jesus Christ, so that we will never forget the truth that we are your forgiven and dearly-loved children. Amen.

Today's Devotion is 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.

Devotion - March 25, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 24, 2015

Tue, Mar 24, 2015

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Hebrews 5:7-9


My daughter hates going to the dentist. In fact, all I have to do is mention to her that our next cleaning appointments are just a few weeks away, and she descends into hysterical begging. “Please, please, please don’t make me go to the dentist! What if they find a cavity? What if it hurts? There has to be some other way to take care of my teeth!”

As Jesus got close to his sufferings and death, he also asked not to have to go through it. On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus “offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.” In the Garden of Gethsemane, he begged his heavenly Father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me” (Matthew 26:39). Jesus’ prayer, however, was very different from my daughter’s pleas not to have to go to the dentist. She begs because she is unwilling to go. Jesus prayed, not because he was unwilling to suffer, but because he was human.

As a true human being, Jesus saw the unspeakable suffering that lay immediately ahead of him and recoiled. If there was some way for him to pay for the sins of the world other than going through what he was about to go through, he prayed that his Father would allow that to happen. Yet, he showed his absolute willingness to suffer when he concluded his prayer by saying, “Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).

His heavenly Father heard his prayer. And he gave his Son the answer that there was no other way; Jesus must suffer and die for the sins of the world. So Jesus willingly obeyed. He allowed himself to be arrested, beaten, spit upon, flogged, mocked, nailed to a cross, forsaken, and killed. He “learned obedience from what he suffered.” And in doing so, he reached his goal. He accomplished the salvation of the world.

Jesus is now “the source of eternal salvation” for all who believe in him. He is your source of eternal salvation. Through his obedience on your behalf, he has won for you eternal life with him. Believe in him and enjoy his salvation!

Prayer: 

Dear Jesus, may I never cease praising you for the salvation you have won for me. Amen.

Today's Devotion is 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.

Devotion - March 24, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 23, 2015

Mon, Mar 23, 2015

"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

John 12:27-33


When you think about Jesus in all of his glory, what do you picture? Do you picture him sitting on his throne in heaven? Do you picture him surrounded by a choir of holy angels? Do you picture him shining like the brightness of the sun? How about this picture: He is hanging on the cross of Calvary, bloodied and battered, suffering and dying.

It doesn’t exactly seem like a picture of glory, does it? In fact, it seems much more like a picture of despair and a picture of defeat. It seems like a fate that Jesus, the very Son of God, could and would avoid.

Yet, as Jesus spoke these words recorded in John chapter 12, the cross of Calvary was exactly where he was headed. Though it seemed like the last place you would think to find the Son of God, Jesus was headed there willingly and knowingly and determinedly. Why? Because the cross of Calvary was not a place of despair and defeat for Jesus. Instead, it was the place where his glory was on display most beautifully and magnificently.

For what else was Jesus’ cross than the place where he paid for the sins of the entire world? What else was Jesus’ cross than the place where he conquered death once and for all? What else was Jesus’ cross than the place where “the prince of this world”—the devil himself—was “driven out” and defeated? What else was Jesus’ cross than the place where Jesus was “lifted up from the earth” so he could “draw all men to [himself]” by paying for the sins of everyone? And so, what else was Jesus’ cross than the place where, indeed, his glory was on display most beautifully and magnificently?

Just five days after speaking these words, Jesus actually was hanging on the cross of Calvary, bloodied and battered, suffering and dying. And so, there he was in all of his glory. For what could be more glorious than saving the world—than saving you from your sins so that by faith in him you will live with him in glory forever?

Prayer: 

Dear Father in heaven, you glorified your Son through his sacrificial death on the cross. Draw us to him today as we study your word, that we might live with you in glory forever. Amen.

Today's Devotion is 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.

Devotion - March 23, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 22, 2015

Sun, Mar 22, 2015

Jesus said to Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."

John 11:25-27


Jesus asked Martha a very pointed question, and it came at a most difficult time. Lazarus, her brother, had just died. Emotionally she was conflicted. Physically she was drained. Mentally she was confused. Although Jesus did offer her words of promise and assurance, he also added that key question, "Do you believe this?" In reality, the question was even more direct, "Do you trust me?" Martha's answer is a testimony to her confidence in Jesus and an example for me.

Every day I face many challenges. Some are easy to overcome. Others are more difficult. Still, with persistence I manage. There are even times when I find a source of strength I didn't know I had. Throughout these times I am able to say with some certainty, "I believe."

This certainty will be seriously challenged in extreme situations. How will I respond if someone close to me dies? How will I respond if I am diagnosed with a disease that will permanently alter my life? How will I find a new source of strength when emotionally, physically, and mentally I am empty? Will I still say with certainty, "I believe?"

This is where Martha becomes a wonderful example. When Jesus asked her, "Do you believe this?" she gave a resounding and inspiring answer. More than saying, "I believe this," she said, "I trust you."

Here is where I need to re-examine and reinforce my faith. At the worse possible time, Martha said, "I can trust you, Jesus." I need that same unshakable trust. What is reassuring is that Jesus goes to great lengths to provide that trust. Certainly his loving promise to be with me always tells me I can trust him. He offers me more. By his death on the cross, Jesus rescued me from the punishment for sin. As my Savior, he offers me the great assurance of forgiveness and the gift of God's peace. And by his resurrection, Jesus proved his victory over the devil, my greatest enemy, and he takes away my fear of eternal death. I have every reason to trust him for this life, and for the life to come in heaven.

In this life there will be many disappointments, and many people will prove to be disappointing, so it is often difficult to find someone or something I can always trust. There remains one bright hope that will never fail to shine even in the darkest of times, and that is Jesus. He is someone I can always trust. 

Prayer: 

O dearest Jesus, work in me through your never-failing presence and your precious promises. Give me the strength of faith to trust you in this life, and to trust you for the life to come. Amen!

Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This devotion was taken from the Daily Devotion archive.


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.

Devotion - March 22, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 21, 2015

Sat, Mar 21, 2015

But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah 1:17


Many people wonder how Jonah could have been swallowed by a “great fish” and stay alive in its belly for “three days and three nights.” They try to identify the kind of “great fish” it must have been in order for this extraordinary event to be plausible.  

Let’s not overlook the first four words of this verse: “But the LORD provided...” It is not necessary for us to know how it was possible for this to happen to Jonah. For nothing is impossible with God. He made it happen. He says so. It is true, even if we can’t get our minds around it.

The message of this little verse is more than demonstrating the power and ability of God to rescue his wayward prophet from death in a miraculous fashion. Jesus pointed to this event in Jonah’s life. He said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40).

There’s no doubt about the truth of Jonah’s experience. Jesus himself verifies it as a factual event. Even more, he holds it up as a sign of his own burial. And just as God released Jonah from his “tomb” (Jonah 2:10), so after three days God raised his Son from dead, and Jesus came out of his tomb.

If you wonder what it must have been like for Jonah to be in and then come out of that fish, think of it as a sign of your experience if you die before our Lord Jesus returns on the Last Day. Entombed in the grave, you will come out again by the power of your resurrected and living Lord Jesus and live forever with him. That’s the truth!

Prayer: 

I know that my Redeemer lives,
             and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
  And after my skin has been destroyed,
             yet in my flesh I will see God;
  I myself will see him with my own eyes -- I, and not another.
             How my heart yearns within me!   (Job 19:25-27)

Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This devotion was taken from the Daily Devotion archive.


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.

Devotion - March 21, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 20, 2015

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

[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

Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness

When I was about nine years old, I almost drowned. I was not an unexperienced swimmer. The problem was, I was over-confident in my experience and ignorant of my limitations. As I was doing laps, my brain said, “Keep going!” But my body said, “I’m done.” As I sank into the murky waters, a hand grabbed for me, and then an arm embraced me and pulled me safely to the pool’s edge. My father had risked his life to rescue me.

Over-confidence in our abilities and ignorance of our limitations is a universal problem. We think we can navigate life just fine on our own. But it doesn’t matter how good we are. It doesn’t matter if we are better than others. We are drowning in a cesspool of sin. And as if nothing is wrong, our fallen nature says, “Keep going!”

Not until God hits us with the realization of the hopelessness of our efforts does our law-stricken heart scream, “I’m done for!”

God has heard our cry for help. Seeing us sinking down, Christ laid aside his crown for our souls. He jumped in and embraced our humanity in order to save us. To do so, he had to more than risk his life. He gave his life in exchange for ours. He suffered the death we deserved so that we might live. But he does even more than that. Through baptism, God washes the moral filth from us and dresses us in the clean robe of Jesus’ sinless virtue. In Christ, you and I have complete deliverance.

Even so, sometimes we still feel like we are swimming through dark times. The more we focus on that darkness, the more we drown in our doubts and fears. But when we focus on Jesus, the Light of the world, and trust his saving power, he gives us new life. Jesus rescues us from death! Praise the one who breaks the darkness!

Prayer: 

Dear Jesus, thank you for delivering me from the hopelessness and despair of this dark world. Your love and forgiveness fill me with joy. Enable me to live as a child of light. Amen.

Today's Devotion is 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.

Devotion - March 20, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 19, 2015

Thu, Mar 19, 2015

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:12


“How far can you throw it?” That question was often asked in the neighborhood. It resulted in several of us kids lining up and taking turns to see who could throw the football the farthest. It provided a way to measure ourselves against the other boys in the neighborhood, but even as we got older, the football never made it more than a few backyards away.

Our sins never seem all that far away either. We try to forget them by thinking about something else. We try to rationalize our sins and make excuses for them. We try to pass the blame to others. We try to pretend that they never happened. But try as we might, we just can’t seem to throw them too far away from us. They weigh on our conscience. They float around in our mind and keep us up at night. We are often reminded of our sins by the hurt feelings and comments of others. Sin never seems too far away.

That’s where Jesus came in. He didn’t just pick up our sins and throw them a few backyards away. He has removed them “as far as the east is from the west.” Who can measure the distance from east to west? You can travel thousands of miles in either direction and still have just as far to go. God’s forgiveness for you in Jesus is immeasurable. His supply of forgiveness will never run out. When God removes your sin, he removes it completely. Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus your sins are gone for good. They are not coming back. And trusting in Jesus as your Savior, you have an eternity in heaven to look forward to.

“How far can you throw them?” When it comes to sin, the answer is “not very far.” Our human ways of dealing with sin will always ensure that they keep coming back. Instead, lay your sins on Jesus and let him throw them away “as far as the east is from the west.” You are forgiven for all of your sins. In Jesus, they are nowhere to be found.

Prayer: 

Dear Lord, heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to be my Savior from sin. In your grace, through Word and Sacrament, continue to remind me that all of my sins have been removed completely. Amen.

Today's Devotion is 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.

Devotion - March 19, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 18, 2015

Wed, Mar 18, 2015

[The Israelites] traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

Numbers 21:4-9


That was a strange question the Israelites asked Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt?” It was strange because, for as long as anyone could remember, the Israelites had been praying to God that he would send someone to bring them up out of Egypt where they had been slaves. But after their prayer was answered, it wasn’t long before they found something new about which to complain. Now, instead of lacking freedom, they were lacking food and water. Everywhere they went, it seemed there was a reason to feel unsatisfied. There was a reason to be unhappy.

Most surveys and polls today indicate that a good chunk of the world’s population feels the same way. Everyone’s unhappy about something. And like the Israelites, we are often pretty quick to identify what needs to change in order to feel better about everything. If only I weren’t so busy. If only my job were easier. If only life hadn’t been so challenging. If only someone loved me. If only the kids would behave. If only I could catch a break. If only I had more money, time, or energy. It’s not difficult for us to feel like we’re wandering through a desert too. And those moments usually reveal something very important about us.

Israel’s cries for comfort and satisfaction in the desert revealed what they wanted more than anything. They wanted to feel comfortable. They wanted to feel satisfied. More than they wanted God.

And when the venomous snakes God sent caused them to see their sin, they cried out to God for help and saw exactly what God wanted more than anything. He wanted them to live. He told Moses to put a snake on a pole so that “anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

God has not preserved the bronze snake on the poll that was built by Moses. But he has graciously given us a place to which we can also look and live—no matter the desert, no matter the sin. Jesus knows how it feels to go through life unsatisfied. As he was lifted up onto his cross, he was missing so much more than the Israelites ever did. But what we clearly find in his desert is something that can satisfy any soul, no matter how thirsty it is. We find the forgiveness of every sin and the promise that God will let nothing in all creation keep you from being comfortable and happy forever in heaven.

Prayer: 

Dear Lord God, we are sorry for our sins and very grateful for the forgiveness we find at the cross of Jesus. As we travel through this life on earth, help us to always remember the perfect joy waiting for us in heaven. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today's Devotion is 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.

Devotion - March 18, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 17, 2015

Tue, Mar 17, 2015

Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:4-10


The body lay on the table as the funeral director got ready to prepare it for burial. Its eyes were closed. Its limb were stiff. It was altogether still. The funeral director had no doubt that the body would stay that way, since he knew that it was dead. Dead bodies can’t open their eyes. They can’t move their limbs. No matter how much the funeral director poked at it or talked to it or otherwise persuaded it to move, that dead body would remain dead. Dead is dead.

That is how God describes each of us when we were born. We were by nature spiritually dead. Although physically we were alive, spiritually we were like a corpse on a slab. And we could do just as much spiritually as a physical corpse can do physically. On our own, we could not seek God. On our own, we could not answer God’s call. All we could do on our own was be spiritually dead. Dead is dead.

But while we were dead, God performed a miracle. He made us alive in Christ. Through his Word, whether spoken or connected with water in Baptism, he breathed his Holy Spirit into us. His Spirit warmed our dead hearts. He opened our spiritual eyes. He connected us with Jesus through the faith he created in our hearts. And he did all this completely on his own, without any help from us.
 
It is by God’s undeserved love for you that you are saved. You contributed nothing. God has given you spiritual life as a completely free gift. And he even gives you a way to thank him for this gift as he empowers you to live your life for him.

What an amazingly loving, powerful, generous, life-giving, all-giving God we have!

Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, I thank you for making me alive in Christ, even when I was dead in my sins. Help me now to live my life for you. Amen.

Today's Devotion is 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.

Devotion - March 17, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 16, 2015

Mon, Mar 16, 2015

“If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Matthew 6:14-15


How long have you been holding that grudge? How long have you been harboring resentment in your heart? How many moments of anger and frustration have you had as you recall what happened? How many sleepless nights of tossing and turning as you replayed the sin over and over in your mind? How many ears did you tell about the horrible thing so-and-so did?

I get it. Your feelings were hurt. The insensitivity and the rudeness of the other person made you angry. Their words and actions were uncalled for. You felt you had earned the benefit of the doubt. You thought your relationship with that person was so much stronger than it turned out to be. But doesn’t God have the right to feel that way every time we sin against him?

Failure to forgive others is not only physically and emotionally draining, but it also leads us into sin and spiritual danger. Refusing to forgive others deprives us of the very forgiveness that we desperately need for our own sins against God. To not forgive others is to bind our own sins to us. That can only result in an eternity apart from God and missing out on the wonders of heaven.

Thankfully our Lord is a forgiving God. God forgives all of our sins. In Christ, our Father is no longer angry or resentful toward us for our offenses. In Christ, God has cancelled our debt of sin. In Christ, our sins have been dismissed—cut loose from us now and forever. Because of Christ’s sacrifice in our place, our sins are forgotten by the Father.

Motivated by the love of Jesus and in appreciation of the forgiveness he provides, bury that grudge. Delete the resentment from your heart. Ditch the anger and frustration. Instead, fill up your heart with the love of Jesus and forgive others as the Father has forgiven us. What a wonderful privilege to pass on God’s gracious forgiveness to others!

Prayer: 

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for your full and free forgiveness to me in Christ. Help me to always appreciate just how forgiven I am. Fill my heart with the love of Jesus and move me to extend that same wonderful forgiveness to others. Amen.

Today's Devotion is 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.

Devotion - March 16, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 15, 2015

Sun, Mar 15, 2015

Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

Matthew 20:17-19

The Complete Picture

In frustration Bob shouted, “I can’t believe it!” Immediately his wife came running into the kitchen. “What is it?” she said breathlessly. Her husband replied, “Just look at it!  How could they do that!” Bob was pointing at the puzzle he just completed. At first, Louise couldn’t see anything wrong. Then as her eyes passed over the completed work, she saw what troubled her husband. Several important pieces were missing. All Louise could say was, “I guess that happens.” Bob wasn’t consoled because he wanted the complete picture.

What Bob required is what I desperately need, especially when it comes to my rescue from sin and the punishment I deserve because of that sin.

It may be easy to dismiss part, or even Jesus’ entire ministry on earth. It may be just as easy to conclude that if I live a good life, God will welcome me into heaven. Both are equally dangerous, and both would seal God’s judgment of eternal death for me.

In great love God the Father sent his Son into the world. His plan was simple yet detailed–secure eternal life for every sinner. This required Jesus to fulfill every prophetic picture in the Old Testament with flawless faithfulness. Ignore one detail. Miss one step. Allow even the smallest promise to go unfulfilled, and all would be doomed.

This is why Jesus’ words to his disciples are so precious. In a few short sentences Jesus summarizes his entire ministry. At the same time he offers the complete picture of what he had to do. Everything necessary for my rescue is there. In Jesus’ betrayal I find God’s acceptance. In Jesus’ condemnation I receive God’s declaration of innocence.  In Jesus’ crucifixion I find complete forgiveness. In Jesus’ resurrection I receive the assurance of life in heaven. This is why I need to continue to study and trust what God has recorded in his holy Word. In that Word I find God’s plan for my rescue. In that Word I can find God’s assurance for my life in heaven. In that Word I can see the complete picture of my Savior.

Prayer: 

O gracious heavenly Father, I thank you for revealing your Son to me through your holy Word. Give me the faith I need to believe everything you have recorded and to confidently confess that Jesus is my only Savior. Amen.

Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This devotion was taken from the Daily Devotion archive.


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.

Devotion - March 15, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 14, 2015

Sat, Mar 14, 2015

If Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

Romans 8:10


John Bacon was a sculptor. And he was a good one. In fact, even during Bacon’s lifetime, Great Britain recognized him as a genius. Some of the most famous places in England eagerly commissioned him to work his magic. Today his astounding sculptures live on. They continue to awe and inspire, from Oxford to Bristol Cathedral to Westminster Abbey and beyond.

John Bacon died in 1799. His 58 year old body found its final resting place at the Whitfield Tabernacle in London. It’s said that above his tomb are words that Bacon himself wrote for his epitaph before he died. To everyone walking past his grave John Bacon says this: “What I was as an artist seemed of some importance to me while I lived; but what I was as a believer in Jesus Christ is the only thing of importance to me now."

As you read or listen to this devotion, what’s important to you? Perhaps you’re a student just trying to make it through the final quarter. Perhaps you’re working in an office and you’re rushing to meet a deadline. Perhaps these words are reaching you at night after you’ve worked two jobs and put the kids to bed. Perhaps you’re retired and battling poor health. No matter where you are in your life, there are matters that are urgent and pressing for the here-and-now.

But never let the urgent overshadow the important. What’s important is your relationship with Jesus Christ. God’s forgiveness of your every sin at Calvary’s cross is the only thing that will matter the moment your life on this earth comes to an end.

John Bacon worked hard to use his talents to the best of his ability. The Lord wants us to do the same. But as you do, keep in mind The Only Thing of Importance. It’s your bond of faith with the Son of God. 

Prayer: 

Lord Jesus, there are so many pressing matters in my life. Give me focus. Empower me to rivet my eyes of faith on what is truly important. Move me to fix my eyes on you. Amen.

Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This devotion was taken from the Daily Devotion archive.


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.

Devotion - March 14, 2015 --Daily Devotion

Devotion - March 13, 2015

Fri, Mar 13, 2015

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

Isaiah 43:25

Good news for a Friday and Every Day!

The background to this verse of Scripture is the nation of Israel, roughly 700 B.C., feeling the pressure of life. Their society seemed to be falling apart because of sins of immorality, greed, laziness, and mixed up priorities. Safety was a major concern because of the volatility of the foreign nations around them. It was getting harder to feel secure, satisfied, and happy with their lives. Some even had the audacity to ask where all the good times had gone when God still cared and God still intervened to make a difference.

God responds by saying that as a nation and as individuals you sin and sin and sin and then you expect me to put my stamp of approval on your sin and make you feel comfortable and secure? You deserve to receive the wrath and punishment of hell for your transgressions. But while there will be earthly consequences for your sins, here is how I am going to deal with them eternally: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

Thankfully, the way God dealt with Israel’s transgressions is the way he deals with ours as well. Even though we deserve to receive the wrath and punishment of hell for our transgressions, and even though there might be earthly consequences for our sins, here is how God says he deals with them eternally: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

God who knows all things, chooses to forget every last one of our sins because he directed his wrath at Jesus and punished him for those sins instead of you and me. God who can’t have transgressors in his perfect presence has declared us holy in Christ and gives us a peaceful relationship with him right now on earth. And God will give us life in his presence forever in heaven by faith in Christ because through Christ he remembers our sins no more. This is news that sounds good on a Friday and every day! To God be the glory!

Prayer: 

How can I thank you, Lord, for all your loving-kindness? For remembering my sins no more, I want to thank you by striving with my heart and soul to abhor evil. Renew my heart each day through your love so that I serve you willingly. Amen.

Today's Devotion is 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.

Devotion - March 13, 2015 --Daily Devotion