WELS Daily Devotions

The Most Important Part of Church – January 24, 2017

12 hours 4 mi

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
1 Corinthians 1:10-17

The Most Important Part of Church
Daily Devotion – January 24, 2017

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170124dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

If you interviewed people on the street, how would they finish this sentence?
The most important part of church is . . .

We would probably get a lot of different answers. The most important part of church is the music, the pastor, the friendliness of the people, the length of the sermon, or even how clean the restrooms are!

God’s missionary, Paul, had written to Christians in Corinth, Greece, around 50 AD. Even back then they were arguing about which pastor was better—Paul, Apollos, or Cephas. Guess how they would have answered the question, “What’s the most important part of church?”

Paul didn’t want them fighting over pastors, because the person in the pulpit is not the most important part of church. Music, style of worship, liturgy, personalities, and friendliness are all important, but they are not the most important part of church.

Jesus Christ had sent Paul to preach the gospel. The gospel is the message that we are people broken by the evil that lives in our hearts. Jesus Christ died on a cross to take away our guilt and sin so God would never punish us. This simple message is the most important part of church. The gospel is the heart of the Bible. The gospel is the foundation and source of our life with God.

While the important blessings of personalities, friendliness, and music can encourage or discourage your church attendance, make the most important blessing your top priority. Go to a church that proclaims the gospel of Jesus without adding their own ideas into the mix. When you find a church that clearly and completely teaches the truth that Jesus Christ died for you, you are in a place where the gospel will fill you with spiritual life, forgiveness, and joy.

The gospel is the most important part of church!

Prayer:
Jesus, in your love give me the most important blessing in a church—the good news that you died 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

Follow Jesus – January 23, 2017

Mon, Jan 23, 2017

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Matthew 4:18-22

Follow Jesus
Daily Devotion – January 23, 2017

Devotion based on Matthew 4:18-22
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170123dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

They were simple, first-century fishermen, just blue-collar workers going about their blue-collar jobs. Until, one day, Jesus called out and said, “Come, follow me.” They knew of Jesus. They had seen him before and had even witnessed his first miracle. But they could not possibly know what they were in for by following him. They would see him heal the lame, give sight to the blind, and even raise the dead. They would hear him preach and teach as no one before. They would see him arrested and beaten and nailed to a cross. And they would see him alive again three days later. It would be a journey of highs and lows that they could never have imagined that day when he first called them to follow him.

The same Jesus who called Peter and Andrew, James and John, calls for you to follow him. Follow his words and promises. Follow his will for your life. Follow him in good times and bad, when it is easy and when it is not. Follow him in everything you do this day…and every day yet to come. Like those first-century fishermen, you cannot possibly know what it will mean to follow Jesus.

But you will be so very glad you did. He is the way and the truth and the life. He is a light shining in this dark world, helping you make sense of it all, helping you see who you really are and who your God really is. Follow him through the twists and turns of this life and he will lead you all the way to the heaven he bought for you with his blood.

Follow Jesus. You will be eternally thankful you did!

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, I realize that following you will not always be easy. But I know it will always be best. Grant me the willingness and strength to follow you through this life and into the next. 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

We are One – January 22, 2017

Sun, Jan 22, 2017

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13

We are One
Daily Devotion – January 22, 2017

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170122dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

When you are at a worship service, do you look around at the other people there? Sometimes our eyes and minds pick up on what is different from us. We see the differences in the way they look, the clothes they wear, the color of their skin, or their age. What crazy clothes! What outrageous hair! They’re 47 years older or younger than me–what could we have in common?

Our sinful nature likes to notice all the differences. We use those differences to further separate ourselves from others. This probably doesn’t come as a shock to you–you’ve done it and others have done it to you. And, we’ve done it to God. God commands us to do good and holy things. When we choose to do something different, we show our true, sinful colors. We are different from God. We show that difference when we choose to do what he hates.

But God has done something remarkable. God unites those who are VERY different. We are sinners. God is absolutely perfect, holy and sinless. God hates sin. In love, God chose to unite us to him. God loves us even though we are very different from him. He chose to unite sinners like you and me to him!

When did God do this? In Baptism, God washes sin away. The Holy Spirit works through the water and God’s Word. God forgives our sins. God unites us to himself. God makes us a part of his body–closely and firmly connected to him. Although we were different, God made us holy and connected us to him.

God also promises that when the Holy Spirit connected us to God in Baptism, he also connected us with all other believers who have been baptized. Although God has blessed us with different personalities, different gifts, different skin colors, different hairstyles and fashion sense, the Holy Spirit has made us part of ONE BODY.

Next time you sit in church and look around at everyone else, take a moment to marvel. People so different have been made ONE. The Holy Spirit unites us to God and to each other.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, sometimes I feel alone and isolated. Thank you for loving me in spite of all my sins, and for washing all my sins away. Comfort me with the good news that I am never alone because you have connected me to God and to all believers. 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

Jesus Lived Perfectly for You – January 21, 2017

Sat, Jan 21, 2017

Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.
Luke 4:16

Jesus Lived Perfectly for You
Daily Devotion – January 21, 2017

Devotion based on Luke 4:16
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170121dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

“As was his custom.” It’s pretty easy to read past those words, isn’t it? But the reality is, there’s a world of good news in those words. Remember, Jesus came to this earth because you and I needed a Savior. We’re sinful human beings who deserved to be sent to hell. So, Jesus came to this earth and he died on the cross, paying for our sins.

But that’s only half the story.

Why so? Because God’s standard for going to heaven isn’t merely that our sins be taken away. Also, God requires that we be positively perfect! Completely holy! And you and I must say, “UGGH! I’m in trouble!”

Ah, but no! You’re not in trouble at all! For you have a Savior who not only died for you, but who also lived for you! He lived perfectly, in every sense of the term! He perfectly loved God; he perfectly loved his neighbors. He was perfectly kind, just, fair, loving. In the Bible verse for our devotion today, we’re reminded that he worshiped God perfectly: “as was his custom.”

And here’s the really good news! You get credit for what Jesus did! Yes, you get the credit not only for Jesus’ death, but also for his life–the way that Jesus perfectly loved God. God has credited that to your account, so that now God considers you to have loved him perfectly, too. Jesus loved his neighbors perfectly: God now considers you to have loved your neighbors perfectly, too. Jesus worshiped perfectly: God considers you to have worshiped perfectly, too, for you have been credited with that perfect life of Jesus!

So there’s a world of good news in that phrase “as was his custom”. It’s a reminder that in the eyes of God, you are perfect and holy because of Jesus. What a phrase! What a truth!

Prayer:
Lord God, remind me of my status, that you’ve credited Jesus’ perfect life to me, that I might be filled with quiet confidence. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

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

Joy versus Pleasure – January 20, 2017

Fri, Jan 20, 2017

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
James 1:2-3

Joy versus Pleasure
Daily Devotion – January 20, 2017

Devotion based on James 1:2-3
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170120dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Have you ever been one of those recreational joggers who decided that it would be a good idea to run a marathon? I was once. However, life’s responsibilities got in the way and I never made it to the starting line of a marathon.

I have watched others do it. I think I get the strange attraction. You punish yourself for several months just so that you can really punish yourself on one specific day for 4-6 hours until you cross the finish line 26.2 miles later. Then what?

Then you bask in the glow of the deep joy of great accomplishment. I don’t know that anyone considers marathon training to be the pursuit of personal pleasure. Joy, yes. Pleasure, no.

If you want to please yourself, take a slow stroll around the park while enjoying a tasty ice cream cone. If you want the satisfaction of the deep joy of great accomplishment, then pound the pavement for 8 – 10 – 12 miles or more.

So it is with the Christian faith. If you are after personal pleasure, you can find it everywhere. The world is full of fun things to do—things that please with very little effort on our part.

Joy, however, comes from “pounding the pavement”, that is, from the stress and strain of great personal trials—the “testing of your faith”, James calls it. Why test my faith facing “trials of many kinds”? Because when the testing is done, I have perseverance. Perseverance is “the ability to see past present problems and anticipate future blessing with confident reliance on God every step of the way.”

Consider Jesus. The Bible book of Hebrews says that Jesus “endured the cross, scorning its shame” because of the joy set before him (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus, the sinless Son of God found joy in the brutally hard work of bearing the sin of the world in his death on the cross. Don’t forget, this came after the 33-year marathon of living a completely sinless life on our behalf.

When we live our Christian faith no matter what painful trials we may have, we are living the life chosen for us by God. We are part of his joy. The testing is his testing. The perseverance is his perseverance. So “consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,” when Jesus sets you on his path leading you to his finish line.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for the trials of many kinds that develop a deep joy and persevering faith within me. Thank you for setting me on the path of life and keeping me strong every step of the way. Amen.

The focus for devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in January is Truths for 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

A Golden Rule for the Poor in Spirit – January 19, 2017

Thu, Jan 19, 2017

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 7:12

A Golden Rule for the Poor in Spirit
Daily Devotion – January 19, 2017

Devotion based on Matthew 7:12
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170119dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Jesus had become something of a sensation. Crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan came to him. But before things got too crazy, Jesus wanted time away with his followers. So he went up on a mountainside and his disciples came to him. Then he spoke his Sermon on the Mount. One of the truths he taught: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God” (Matthew 5:3).

Have you been led to see how spiritually impoverished you are? Do you recognize that you have nothing to bring to God, but your sin? Has the Spirit led you to Jesus as your only hope? Then you are blessed, blessed with the wealth of your Savior’s righteousness won for you by his death on the cross. You have experienced firsthand the love of Jesus who has rescued you from the curse of sin and eternal death. By faith he has given to you a glorious life with him forever.

Later in his sermon, Jesus said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Do for others what you would have them do to you, because you have a Savior who has done more for you than you could ever imagine. This command, the golden rule, serves as a guiding principle for Christian lives and sums up God’s will for his people.

Do for others what you would want them to do for you. Who are you going to interact with today? How can you treat them as you want to be treated? If you are a parent, how can you love your child as God has loved you? If you are going to work today, how can you work like you would want someone to work for you? In your relationships, how can you listen to someone as you would want a friend to listen to you? If you have money or other resources, how can you use these things for others as you would want someone to use them for you?

Do for others what you would have them do to you. Responding thankfully to God’s love for you in Jesus, this gives you enough to do today and every day.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, you have replaced my spiritual poverty with the riches of your righteousness. Moved by your love, lead me to treat others as I would want them to treat me. Amen.

The focus of devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in January is Truths for 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

Not Satisfied – January 18, 2017

Wed, Jan 18, 2017

“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Isaiah 49:6

Not Satisfied
Daily Devotion – January 18, 2017

Devotion based on Isaiah 49:6
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170118dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Head hung low, the young man approached his father. “Dad, I didn’t do very well on my last test.”

“Oh? What grade did you get, son?”

Shaking his head in disgust, “I messed up on a couple of questions and got a B-.”

“And how has that impacted your final grade?”

“Oh, I still have a solid A.”

“I don’t think you have anything to worry about,” his father encouraged.

You might smile and completely agree with the father, “Wow, that kid is really hard on himself. He should just be happy about his overall grade. Clearly he has worked hard and should be satisfied with what he has done so far.”

There is, however, a certain amount of respect we have for someone who is constantly striving to do more and isn’t satisfied with “good enough.” Thankfully, that is the kind of God that we have.

The one and only God is not satisfied with bringing just a few people into his family. It is not enough for him to spend eternity with some. He wants all to be saved. That’s why he sent his Son (his servant) to bear the sins of everyone who has ever lived and to pay the price for those sins with his life.

God is not satisfied to save only those who lived at a certain time in history, or those who live in a certain part of the world, or those who were born into a certain race of people. His greatest desire is for salvation to reach every corner of the world.

That means his desire is for you to be saved. It doesn’t matter where you live, what language you speak, or even what you have done. God loves you so much that he sent his Son to be punished for your sins so that you can live with him forever.

It is not good enough for just some to be saved. God wants you to be his forever.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for including me in your plan of salvation. Without your incredible love, I would have been stuck in my sins and lost forever. But because of your love, you sent your Son for me and all people. Thank you. Help me to live as the forgiven child you have made me so that others can see your love too. Use me to bring your message of salvation to the ends of the earth. In Jesus’ name I ask it. 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

Always Thankful – January 17, 2017

Tue, Jan 17, 2017

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Always Thankful
Daily Devotion – January 17, 2017

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170117dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Missionary Paul wrote this paragraph to a group of Christians in Corinth, Greece. If you knew about them, you would wonder why he thanked God for them.

Their church family was a mess. They were suing each other in court, arguing about which pastor was better, trampling on each other’s feelings, getting drunk before church, openly visiting prostitutes, causing all kinds of trouble.

Paul thanked God for them?

Would Paul thank God for us? God demands we that be holy. When we almost crash because an oncoming driver didn’t use the turn signal and swerves in front of us, do we get a little angry and say things we shouldn’t? Is there a bit of resentment when our spouse watches TV while we’re still doing housework? Do we tend to discriminate against people whom we have determined are different than us?

Paul didn’t thank God for what the Christians in Corinth were doing. He thanked God for what the Lord was doing in them. The Lord made them holy, he made them spiritually rich, he made them faithfully strong. Paul thanked God for them because God had been gracious to them through the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is gracious to us too. He daily forgives our sins through Christ, making us blameless before God and confident that by faith in Jesus we are worthy of eternal life. He uses his Word written in the Bible to grow our knowledge of his grace. He enriches our lives in every way, blessing us with patience, joy, hope, and peace.

No matter how we have failed God, no matter the struggles we have, we can always thank him for the great blessings he gives us in Jesus.

Prayer:
Father, thank you for what you do in my life every day. Amen.

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

Bringing People to Jesus – January 16, 2017

Mon, Jan 16, 2017

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
John 1:40-42

Bringing People to Jesus
Daily Devotion – January 16, 2017

Devotion based on John 1:40-42
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170116dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

There was so much excitement and so little stress when Andrew told his brother about Jesus. Have you ever wished it was that easy?

It is easy to worry about trying to find just the right words to say, or trying to find just the right time to say them. But notice that Andrew wasn’t concerned about any of that.

Andrew didn’t worry about getting the timing right because he did it as “the first thing.” There was no waiting for just the right moment because Andrew got right to it.

He didn’t worry about finding the right words to say because all he said was what he knew: “We have found the Messiah.” There was no crafting of the perfect thing to say. Andrew just said what he knew.

All of this is because Andrew realized what the real job of sharing our faith is—it is bringing people to Jesus. It is easy to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to share Jesus and to do it in just the right way. However, sharing our faith is really a natural thing for Christians. We want to bring other people to be where Jesus is.

Jesus is the one who does the real work. He is the one who does the convincing. He is the one who puts opportunities into our lives. Our job is just to bring people to be with Jesus.

Prayer:
Father, help me to be like Andrew as he brought people to Jesus. Amen.

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

Perfect Timing – January 15, 2017

Sun, Jan 15, 2017

“Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come.”
John 2:4

Perfect Timing
Daily Devotion – January 15, 2017

Devotion based on John 2:4
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170115dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

“Not yet!” Even though John’s crew was in a hurry to finish the concrete work, this is all he would say. As the foreman, John understood timing was everything. Start working the concrete mix too soon and it would be too soft. Starting the work too late and it would be too firm. Perfect timing would ultimately make the job easier, faster, and better.

Waiting for the perfect time is what Jesus did throughout his ministry. It didn’t make any difference what the situation was, he waited for exactly the right moment so that everything was done right and exactly according to God’s saving plan.
Jesus said as much when he responded to his mother’s request for more wine at the wedding in Cana. The same concern for timing can also be seen when he taught, when he performed miracles, or even when he raised Lazarus from the dead. Everything was done at exactly the right time.

The same concern for the perfect timing can be seen in his decision to go to Jerusalem. When the time was right, Jesus went into the city. The timing had to be perfect in order to fulfill all the Old Testament prophecies, and to rescue all people from the curse of sin.

It is Jesus’ perfect timing which provides me a double comfort. The first assures me I have been rescued from the punishment I deserved because of my sin. Because Jesus went to the cross and offered his body and blood as the sacrifice God required, I am cleansed of my guilt and set free from punishment. The second comforts me every day of my life as I make my way to heaven. Every need, every prayer, and every detail of my life is under Jesus’ loving care, his watchful eye, and his perfect timing. This assures me everything will always happen for my good, and at the best possible time.

There is a proverb which states that “timing is everything.” With many situations this is true, but with my Savior and Lord it is especially true. I can live in peace knowing everything will work out in exactly the right way and at exactly the right time.

Prayer:
O gracious Savior, Jesus Christ, my times are in your hands. Teach me to not only turn my heart to the promises you give me in your Word, but teach me also to trust that you will do everything for my good according to your perfect timing. 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

Proper Body Image – January 14, 2017

Sat, Jan 14, 2017

Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. … All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:1-7, 11-12

Proper Body Image
Daily Devotion – January 14, 2017

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 12:1-7, 11-12
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170114dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Over the last few years, the fashion and celebrity news industries have faced criticism for publishing pictures of people who were “too perfect.” Airbrushing away imperfections and photo-shopping figures have become the norm. People who read the magazines saw those faces and bodies different than they really are. And then, they saw their own faces and bodies differently.

How do you see yourself? God is straight-forward and honest. Without Jesus, people are far, far away from God. People without Jesus are led astray into all sorts of wrong directions–in what they believe, what they do and how they see themselves. Without Jesus, they not a pretty picture.

God says Christians are different. God the Holy Spirit worked faith and trust in their hearts. So, Christians rely completely on Jesus as their Savior from sin and death.

God the Holy Spirit makes Christians “look” different, too. They are no longer far from God, but they are made a part of “the body of Christ.” By faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit connects them to all other Christians. And, by faith in Jesus, Christians are connected with Jesus himself.

God the Holy Spirit gives Christians spiritual gifts. Each part of the body has gifts. Each Christian is valued, important and gifted–a perfect fit in the “body of Christ.”

So, Christians see themselves the way that God sees them. Christians are sinners who are forgiven and saved by Jesus. Christians are a part of the body of Christ–connected to other Christians, connected to Jesus, and gifted to serve God and others.

See yourself the way God has made you to be. You are valuable because Jesus died and rose for you. You look different and beautiful because the Holy Spirit has made you a part of the body of Christ. Remember that you are connected with other Christians and with Jesus. You are never alone. The Holy Spirit has blessed you with spiritual gifts. Use them to serve God and others.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, thank you for your powerful work in my heart and life. You have given me, a sinner, saving faith in Jesus. You have made me a part of his body. You have connected me to other Christians and to Jesus. Thank you. Because you have given me spiritual gifts, lead me to use them to benefit others and glorify you. Amen.


This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

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

Reconciled – January 13, 2017

Fri, Jan 13, 2017

God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:19-20

Reconciled
Daily Devotion – January 13, 2017

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 5:19-20
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170113dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

I look forward to receiving the notice from my bank that my monthly checking account statement is available. I like to reconcile my family’s Quicken account with it. Seeing the totals from the bank statement equal the transactions I’ve tracked on my computer is satisfying. Maybe you think that’s weird.

But I’m not the only one who loves reconciling. The almighty and eternal God does too! Okay, it’s not the same. He loves reconciling broken relationships. He loves to make peace where there would otherwise be war. He loves to balance the books when it comes to what needs to be in the holiness account versus what would be there based on our own efforts.

When we stand before God on our own, we are bankrupt. Our account of goodness and righteousness doesn’t contain what the Divine Accountant declares it should. Unclean thoughts, uncaring words, unloving actions toward him and others cause our ledger with God to be off…way off! But where he could and should come with retribution for the debt we owe, he comes instead with reconciliation.

That’s what Christmas is all about. God comes into our world in the person of Jesus Christ to reconcile himself with a sinful human race. He comes to take on himself the sins that blacken our books and to replace them with the righteousness that he alone can live and give. That’s what the angels are singing about when they sing about peace on earth, and that is what the apostle Paul is writing about in our verses for today: God has made peace with sinners through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son! The war is over! God has restored the relationship through the forgiveness won by Jesus!

God is not counting our sins against us because of Christ! We are God’s own children in and through Christ! We are heirs of eternal life and the perfect peace of heaven because of Jesus! Take that message to heart that you might have true peace. Take that message to others that they might enjoy it too.

Prayer:
Lord God, our gracious heavenly Father, we thank and praise you for sending your Son into our world to reconcile us to you! Let that truth take deep root in our hearts. Let that truth be one that we take also to others as your ambassadors. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


The focus for devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in January is Truths for 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

Clothed with Christ – January 12, 2017

Thu, Jan 12, 2017

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:26-28

Clothed with Christ
Daily Devotion – January 12, 2017

Devotion based on Galatians 3:26-28
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170112dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Many consider Baptism to be little more than a nice church tradition, a rite of passage. In today’s Scripture passage the apostle Paul heartily disagrees: in Baptism, a person is “clothed with Christ.” To be clothed with Christ is to have your sinfulness completely covered with the perfect sinlessness of Jesus, the Son of God, your Savior.

Think of how important it is to be clothed with Christ. Clothes allow for modesty. So when you are ashamed of something you’ve done and you’re wondering if you can ever live it down in God’s eyes, your baptism means that God himself has covered your shame. Clothes also provide protection and warmth. So when you’re suffering the effects of your own selfish behavior and you are out in the cold and all alone, your baptism is God’s loving, forgiving embrace: you are warm and safe because God is with you. Clothes make a statement about the person wearing them. So when it’s time to meet your Maker face to face and answer for everything you’ve done, your baptism will speak for you: “Jesus has forgiven me of all my sins.”

Baptism has value for your earthly relationships, too. Paul goes on to say: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” The two points are connected. If believers in Jesus are all wearing the same clothes, it suggests that we are all part of the same team. So here in Baptism is an answer to ugly rivalries and bitter arguments that flare up even among Christians, even in our own homes. Just look at what we’re all wearing. Each of us is clothed with Christ.

Together, baptized believers are “sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” To be a son of God means that your Maker is also your almighty and loving Father who is working everything for your good. It means that he has prepared an eternal inheritance for you in the mansions of heaven.

What an amazing gift! In Baptism God gives us Christ and faith and eternal life. Martin Luther was right when he said, “Baptism is so full of consolation and grace that heaven and earth cannot comprehend it.”

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, renew my appreciation for what it means to be baptized into Christ. Amen.

The focus of devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in January is Truths for 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

Here is My Servant – January 11, 2017

Wed, Jan 11, 2017

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.” This is what God the LORD says—he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”
Isaiah 42:1-7

Here is My Servant
Daily Devotion – January 11, 2017

Devotion based on Isaiah 42:1-7
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170111dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

“No one knows the trouble I’ve seen; nobody knows but Jesus.” There will always be someone who is suffering more than us. That doesn’t negate the reality of our own struggles.

When drowning in distress, we thrash about, desperately grasping for anything to save us. The LORD answers our anguished cries for help, “Here is my servant.”

Reach out to him! The LORD’s Servant isn’t arrogant like so many world leaders. He restored the most broken of lives, lives that no others cared to touch. To carry out justice, he didn’t come guns-a-blazing. He suffered beatings, taunting, and the humiliation of death on the cross to save us.

Maybe we don’t feel worth rescuing. Jesus sees us differently. It cost him dearly to redeem us; he won’t dispose of us. Rather than snuff us out, he restores us. Rather than grind us down, he makes something new. Jesus needed true grit to save us. But the moment we struggle, he stoops like a mother to care for us.

Prayer:
LORD, when the tempest rages, I need not fear; for you, the Rock of Ages, are always near. So take my hand, O Savior, and lead the way. 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

Table – January 10, 2017

Tue, Jan 10, 2017

God does not show favoritism.
Acts 10:34

Table
Daily Devotion – January 10, 2017

Devotion based on Acts 10:34
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170110dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Here’s a question. When you ate lunch in high school, did you have a seat at the cool table?

Please pardon the hokey description. No one ever called it that, of course. And no one calls it that now. Nevertheless, chances are good that you know what the cool table is. The cool table in a high school lunchroom is the place where the most popular kids in the student body tend to gather. It often includes those who are the most athletic, those who are the best looking, those who are the wittiest, those who have the most polished personalities.

Is such a gathering evil? Is it wrong? Of course not. Rightly or wrongly, however, the presence of such a table can remind others in that lunchroom that they are not the most popular, that they are not the class favorites. And this, coupled with other difficulties in their lives, can create more than a little pain.

And the cool table does not necessarily cease to exist after high school. In all kinds of areas of life, you and I can find ourselves facing the reality that we are not the favorites, we are not the most popular, we are not the most appreciated and applauded.

All of which reminds us that our sense of peace and contentment cannot rest in whether or not you and I are favorites of people. Instead, our sense of peace and contentment rests in Jesus.

When the Son of God comes to you in his Word, you fill his entire field of vision. When you talk to him in prayer, you have his entire attention. That’s because the value he’s placed on you is so supreme that he was willing to endure the unthinkable at the cross on your behalf. Yours. All to wash you clean of sin. All to make you his own.

Keep that in mind the next time you sit down with Jesus. In his eyes, there is no one more precious than you.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, so often I feel like an outsider, alone and forgotten. Forgive me for such thinking. Remind me how cherished I am to you. Amen.

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

John Consented – January 9, 2017

Mon, Jan 09, 2017

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
Matthew 3:13-15

John Consented
Daily Devotion – January 9, 2017

Devotion based on Matthew 3:13-15
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170109dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

People like to believe they are right. They are also ready to defend their position. Unfortunately, people may take their stand on incomplete information. When Jesus made his request to be baptized, John believed he had a better plan. Jesus contradicted John. He also stated why John had to baptize him, “It was necessary to fulfill all righteousness.” God’s plan for his Son was clear. When Jesus presented this to John, he consented and baptized Jesus.

Willingness to yield one’s position is not easily done. Too often people like to tell God what they think, and what he should do for them. I tend to do the same thing. I believe I know my life and my situation better than God does. So instead of praying in humility that his will be done, I argue that my will be done. Instead of looking for spiritual solutions, I press for earthly remedies. Instead of acknowledging God knows all things, I assume I know better.

I need to learn a more trusting approach from John. Yes, he had an important role as the forerunner of the Savior. John knew what God’s plan was for him. He also accepted that what Jesus said and desired far outweighed what he thought was more important. This is why John consented.

It’s the same reason I acknowledge the Lord, his Word, and his will for my life. He knows the plans he has for me. He has shown me undeserved love and provided everything needed to make me his own. He has given me his faithful word that he will lead me through this life to heaven. When I learn to trust the Lord, his goodness, and his gracious plans, I can consent to his will for my life.

Prayer:
Gracious Lord, too often I pray, “my will be done, instead of your will be done.” Give me the humble faith I need to trust your gracious good will for everything in my life. 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

Approaching God with Confidence – January 8, 2017

Sun, Jan 08, 2017

In Christ Jesus and through faith in him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Ephesians 3:12

Approaching God with Confidence
Daily Devotion – January 8, 2017

Devotion based on Ephesians 3:12
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170108dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

After being caught pushing his sister, does the naughty boy approach his parents with confidence? No, normally he hides under the covers. After the parents come home early and discover the unsanctioned party, does the teenage daughter feel at ease talking to her dad? No, normally she avoids him as much as possible.

If sinful children avoid approaching their sinful parents when they are confronted with guilt, how can it ever be possible for sinful humans to approach a perfect God? There is only one way: it is only possible in Christ. When we trust Christ as our perfect substitute, we trust that his life counts for ours. We hold that our sins have been paid for on his blood-stained cross. We believe that God no longer holds them against us.

We are able to approach God in freedom and confidence. We don’t have to hide from him; we don’t need to avoid him; we are not afraid that he will punish us for our sins…for he has already punished Christ for them instead.

What a blessing to approach God in freedom and confidence!

Prayer:
Dear Father, thank you for washing away everything that convicts me of wrong. Fill me with the peace of your forgiveness through Jesus. Give me joy that I might make the most of the privilege to approach you in freedom and confidence. 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

God’s Promises are for You – January 7, 2017

Sat, Jan 07, 2017

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the LORD.
Isaiah 60:1-6

God’s Promises are for You
Daily Devotion – January 7, 2017

Devotion based on Isaiah 60:1-6
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170107dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

“Rise and shine!” These words would echo up the stairs and rouse my brothers and me from our sleep. In the same way that the sun was dawning on a new day and bringing light to the world, my mom was calling us to action. She didn’t want us to miss all that the new day had to offer. It was time to “rise and shine.”

As the prophet Isaiah wrote these words to the Jewish people, he was calling them to wake up spiritually. He wrote, “Darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples.” The prophets often used pictures of darkness and sleep to describe the sinful condition and situations in which the people were living. They had shut out God, the Light, from their lives. They chose to live apart from God which brought hurt and heartache… and darkness. These people needed help.

And God did help. Now the light was dawning. Jesus Christ was coming into the world. And just like the dawning of a new day rouses people from sleep, the coming of Jesus would bring about a spiritual awakening for his people. A new relationship, based on forgiveness and trust, would be established. God’s people would live by faith.

The Lord had more information for his Old Testament people. The light and promises that Christ was bringing was not only for them. His promise of light and salvation were for all people. The whole world would see what God had done and be drawn by his wonderful love to share in his amazing blessings. One fulfillment of this prophecy was the coming of the Magi from the East to worship Jesus. They followed a star to Bethlehem and brought gifts to worship the Christ Child (Matthew 2:1-12).

This prophecy is also fulfilled today as you hear these words of your God to arise and shine. Let your heart throb and swell with joy. The light of Christ drives the darkness of sin from your heart and life. God’s promises in Christ are for you. Give thanks and praise to the LORD for his glory that rises upon you.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, help me to be honest with you about my sin and my great need for your help. Shine the light of your Word in my heart and lead me to put my trust in you. Open my eyes to see your great glory through Jesus who is my Light and Salvation. 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

Therefore… – January 6, 2017

Fri, Jan 06, 2017

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:13

Therefore…
Daily Devotion – January 6, 2017

Devotion based on 1 Peter 1:13
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170106dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

Therefore. Whenever a sentence, especially one from the Bible that has an encouragement about how to live, starts with the word “therefore,” we want to know what came before it and why we would do what we’re being told to do. Jesus’ apostle, Peter tells us to prepare our minds for action. Why? He urges us to be self-controlled. Why? He encourages us to set our hope on Jesus. Why?

Peter answers the question “why” in the opening words of his letter. You are chosen by God. You are recipients of his grace— his undeserved love—and have peace with God through the forgiveness of sins. Jesus has risen from the dead, and because he lives his followers will live…forever…too! Your true and lasting inheritance is waiting for you in heaven. God’s power will shield you, and his Word will keep your faith secure. Even when you have to endure trials God gives you reason to rejoice and uses such things to strengthen and prove the genuineness of the precious faith you’ve received. God’s prophets served you when they spoke and wrote of the Savior. Even the angels look with wonder and amazement at the love God has shown to a sinful human race through the forgiveness-winning life and death of his Son!

Therefore…all those undeserved blessings change us, and they change the way we live. Because our God has given us faith and new life in Christ we want to serve him. We want to use every moment and every opportunity to live for his glory. Therefore, prepare your minds for action! As God’s redeemed children we know the dangerous temptations of Satan and we know the damaging toll of sin. And so we ready ourselves for spiritual warfare and God-pleasing lives, putting off the ungodly desires of our natural self and putting on the righteousness of Christ. Therefore, be self-controlled! We know that Jesus lives and rules for us and in us. We know that one day…and soon!…he will come to take us from this sin-cursed world to our inheritance in heaven. We need not become overly attached to this world and the disappointments that come with putting our hope in people or things. We look to Jesus, the hope that never fails. Therefore, set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

God has given us plenty of reasons to rejoice and live as his redeemed children. Therefore, let’s take Peter’s encouragement to heart and let these things be evident in our lives!

Prayer:
Risen Lord Jesus, we thank and praise you for the blessings of forgiveness, faith, hope, and love. Help us to live as citizens of heaven until the day you come to take us there. In your name we pray. Amen.


The focus of devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in January is Truths for 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

The Ultimate Stain Remover – January 5, 2017

Thu, Jan 05, 2017

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Isaiah 1:18

The Ultimate Stain Remover
Daily Devotion – January 5, 2017

Devotion based on Isaiah 1:18
http://wels2.blob.core.windows.net/daily-devotions/20170105dev.mp3
See series: Devotions

My mom is a master at getting stains out of clothes. Raising four boys, she had to be. I can still remember seeing her standing at the laundry sink, scrubbing away at the knees of my Toughskin jeans. She was almost always successful. As I said, she is a master. There were times, however, when a stain was set too deeply for her to successfully remove. No amount of detergent or determination could get that stain out.

Sin can sometimes seem that way. The weight of a sin can hang heavy on your heart for days, weeks or even years. Perhaps it was a word said in anger that you wish you could take back. Was it a lack of involvement in the raising of your children? Does the disrespect you showed your parents while you were in your teens still make you cringe? Were you unfaithful to your spouse? Do the things you did while you were addicted make you hang your head in shame?

We all have sins we cannot forget. They stain our conscience like a splash of red wine on a white wedding dress. And no matter how much we beat ourselves up over them, we just can’t make them go away.

Only God can. And he does. He said through the prophet Isaiah, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” God took the blood of Jesus, shed on the cross, and used it to scrub away every, single stain of sin. No matter how deeply set that sin might seem, you have his promise that it has been removed. Your soul is as pure as the driven snow in his sight.

See yourself that way this day. Let go of your guilt and rejoice in God’s gift of forgiveness.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, the guilt of my sins keeps coming to my mind and haunting me. Send your Holy Spirit to convince me that those sins are truly forgiven. Grant me the comfort and peace only your forgiveness can provide. Amen.

The focus of devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in January is Truth for 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