Tempted, Yet Triumphant – February 19, 2018

At once the Spirit sent [Jesus] out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Mark 1:12-13

Tempted, Yet Triumphant


Daily Devotion – February 19, 2018

Devotion based on Mark 1:12-13

See series: Devotions

No one truly understands the torrent of temptations I face in daily life like Jesus does. Countless times the devil coaxes me with his sweet-sounding, sly lies. And after falling for his diabolical deception, I am met with a cascade of his accusations concerning my own guilt and shame. The devil is a real enemy not to be underestimated. His mission is to undermine my faith in God.

Jesus not only understands the power of the evil one; he overcame him! Alone in the barren desert with wild animals surrounding him, Jesus encountered our arch enemy. For forty days he faced the fierce enticements of the evil one. In every vicious attack, Jesus stood victorious. Christ Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Whenever I am tempted, my help and strength will never be found in the deceptive lies of the prince of darkness. Lasting help is graciously given by the Prince of peace who shines with the light of the gospel’s eternal truth, exposing the devilish lies for what they are. His Word of Truth brings the Savior’s healing and forgiveness for the fallen sinner. His love compels me to repent of my sin and to fix my eyes on Jesus who paid the entire debt of my guilt as he crushed the devil through his victory on the cross and from the grave.

It is not a matter of if  temptation will come my way. It is only a matter of when. And when the tide of temptation seeks to overwhelm me, I rest in the safe harbor of heavenly grace. For Jesus assures me with his presence and his powerful promise, that he will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). Finally, when my last hour comes, the Lord will deliver me from all evil and graciously take me from this world to himself in the refuge of heaven.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, the reason you appeared on earth was to destroy the devil’s work. When I fall into temptation, move me to sorrow over my sin and befriend me with your abiding love and forgiveness. Your word is my strength against every evil attack. I thank you that you were victorious for me! Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
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.

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Safe – February 18, 2018

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
Matthew 4:1

Safe


Daily Devotion – February 18, 2018

Devotion based on Matthew 4:1

See series: Devotions

Every time I pray the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), I find great comfort in the words, “And lead us not into temptation.” I need this reassurance because there are many things which seek to draw me away from the Lord. The world always beckons with its pleasures. The devil always offers illusions and distractions. My flesh is always attentive to their appealing call. My only refuge is knowing the Lord will keep me safe in every time of temptation, and that refuge is found in my Savior Jesus Christ.

At the beginning of his ministry God the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness of Judea. The sole purpose was to engage in spiritual combat with the devil. Forty days and forty nights Jesus endured the devil’s twisted truths, his easy solutions, and his deceptive offers. Through the power of God’s Word, Jesus was victorious and did not sin.

I am the beneficiary of this hard-fought battle. Because Jesus overcame every temptation, he gives me the ability to resist the devil’s destructive advances. He also gives me the wisdom to identify Satan’s deadly deceptions. He even gives me the strength to faithfully endure every cunning attack.

I can find great comfort in knowing Jesus will keep me safe. I find equal comfort in knowing when I fail to resist temptation, Jesus stands ready to rescue me. He forgives my failure to remain faithful and removes the burden of my guilt. He encourages me with his reassuring promises to retake my stand on God’s Word. He even renews me with his victory to prepare me for the next battle.

I know as long as I live in this world, the devil will always be there to tempt me. I also know I need to be ready to identify these temptations so I can resist them. What gives me courage and strength for the battle is knowing that Jesus is there to keep me safe.

Prayer:
O gracious and faithful Savior, you were strong and faithful in the face of every temptation. Give me the same strength and faith to resist the devil’s attacks. Refresh me when I grow weak. Forgive me when I fall. Keep me safely in your care. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
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.

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The One for the Many – February 17, 2018

“…through the obedience of the one Man the many will be made righteous.”
Romans 5:19

The One for the Many


Daily Devotion – February 17, 2018

Devotion based on Romans 5:19

See series: Devotions

Al Capone is a household name in American history. Al Capone is the notorious mob leader who ruled the city of Chicago with an iron fist in the 1920’s.

But there’s another name we would do well to know. The name of this man is Frank Loesch. Here is his story. It was the height of Al Capone’s power. His violent reign over Chicago was so tough that local, state and federal authorities dared not to challenge him. Frank Loesch was an elderly man in his seventies. But Frank Loesch had had enough. So, he led an effort to find a way to bring down Al Capone.

The work took years—years of stress, years of death threats, years of constant danger to himself and his family. But finally, the day came. A court found Al Capone guilty of tax evasion. A judge sentenced him to prison. His bloody control was over. The 3 million citizens of Chicago were freed and no longer feared him, thanks to the determination of one brave man, a man by the name of Frank Loesch.

One man doing what had to be done to rescue the lives of many. It’s an extraordinary story. But even the story of Frank Loesch must fade in comparison to what Jesus Christ has done on our behalf.

You and I were under the rule of an iron fist. The iron fist was the curse of our own sin. Under that rule, our lives were fearful, empty, dark. But when Jesus came, he did what had to be done. On our behalf he served as our Champion. In our place he paid the price to set us free. The devil can claim us no more. The curse of our sin is gone. Instead we now possess forgiveness, and life, and light.

The One for the many. That’s Jesus. His victory is total. Because it is, we don’t have to be afraid anymore.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when the curse of sin ruled us with an iron fist, you came. You shattered sin’s grip and washed us clean. Keep us close to you. And thank you! Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
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.

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Bulletin- THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT FEBRUARY 18, 2018

ST. JOHN’S

Evangelical Lutheran Churches

Montello, WI

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

C:\Users\secretary\Downloads\isaac.jpg

THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT

FEBRUARY 18, 2018


WELCOME TO OUR CHURCH! We extend a warm welcome to everyone today, especially our visitors. In the bulletin you’ll find an outline of today’s service, a calendar of events and other bits of information. In the red hymn book you’ll find the songs we sing and the order of service that we follow. If you would like a large print hymnal or bulletin please ask one of our ushers and they will gladly assist you. Restrooms and nursery area are located the parish hall at Emmanuel and in the lower level and “link-way” at St. John’s. It’s nice to have you visit today. May God bless our worship together!

GOD’S WORD FOR TODAY Jesus Defeats the Devil – In Lent we see Jesus go to the cross to suffer and die for us.  Today’s lessons show that when God tests us and the devil tempts us (every day!), Jesus is our holiness before God.  He is also our strength, and our example.  We do not live on bread alone, Jesus says.  We live on God’s promises.  They come to us in holy baptism, in holy communion, and straight from the Bible, the book in which every word is from the mouth of God.

A PERSONAL PRAYER FOR THOSE GATHERED FOR WORSHIP Lord our strength, the battle of good and evil rages within and around us, and our ancient foe Satan tempts us with his deceits and empty promises. Keep us steadfast in your Word, and when we fall, forgive us and restore us in your service. Accept our prayers and songs of praise. To you be all glory. Amen.

ORDER OF SERVICE–LITURGY

“Holy Baptism” (hymnal page 12)

“Service of the Word” (hymnal page 40)

PASTOR’S GREETING

ST. JOHN’S GRADES 5-8 SING (in place of opening hymn)

HOLY BAPTISM LITURGY (hymnal page 12, read responsively)

HOLY BAPTISM HYMN 296 “Our Children Jesus Calls” (printed in hymnal, all sing)

LITURGY (hymnal page 40)

SCRIPTURE READING THEME

The First Sunday in Lent: Overcoming Temptations–Growing Through Tests

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON Genesis 22:1-18 (today’s sermon text)

Abraham’s test of faith

Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”

Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.

PSALM 6 (hymnal page 66, sung in unison)

EPISTLE LESSON Romans 8:31-39

We are more than conquerors

What then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

VERSE OF THE DAY It is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” (Matthew 4:10b)

(Alleluias are omitted during Lent)

(Please stand)

GOSPEL LESSON Mark 1:12-15

The temptation of Jesus

At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!

After the reading of the Gospel, all sing:

“Praise be to you, O Christ”

(Please be seated)

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE

SERMON HYMN 200 “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (printed in hymnal, all sing)

SERMON Genesis 22:1-18

“The LORD Will Provide”

1. Agonizing Burdens

2. Abundant Blessings

(Please stand after the sermon)

APOSTLES’ CREED (hymnal page 41, all read)

(Please be seated)

OFFERING, WORSHIPER GREETINGS & FRIENDSHIP REGISTERS

OFFERING PRAYER

(Please stand)

PRAYER FOR LENT (read by pastor)

INTERCESSORY PRAYERS

– For those hospitalized, ill, shut-in and facing trials: George Alexander, Chuck Boetcher, Gale “Blackie” Boyd, Alexandria Buehrens (Bob & Carolyn’s great granddaughter), Bob & Carolyn Buehrens, George Chapman, Korrina Cragin, Gene & Sharon Crook, Harley & Liola Crown, Agnes Dassow, Elaine Emond (Mark’s mother), Marjorie Fabian, Mike Farrell, Donna Gatzke, Kellen Grucza (Judy Fandrey’s daughter), Brian & Bonnie Harmon (Linda Lou Wacholtz’ sister & brother-in-law),  Brody Henke, Ardis Henning, Laurana Hoffman (Tim’s daughter), Drake Hunter (Bill & Cally’s grandson), Mary Isberner, Geri Kerl (Sue Brown’s mother), Bob Klapper (Sandy’s husband), Anna Madigan, Kerry & Lily Mann, Linda Malsack, Sherry Miller (Candace Sonnenberg’s sister), David & Janette Mottis (Ed & Marlene Buchholz’ niece and husband), Marion Neuman (Marjorie Fabian’s sister), Steve Parrish, Wilma Rudolph, Bob Schrank, Becky Schulz (Kristen Cragin’s sister), Roger Stellick (Doug’s uncle), Jane Torres (Stacie Starke’s mother), Bob Wegner – (added this week: Korrina Cragin)
– For Beatrice Eliza Heintz baptism, the infant daughter of Josh Heintz & Michelle Markunas, baptized in today’s service at St. John’s
– For those affected by the Florida school shooting on Wednesday (2/14)

LORD’S PRAYER (hymnal page 43a, all read)

(Please be seated)

HYMN 355:1-2 “Take the World But Give Me Jesus” (printed in hymnal, all sing)

(Please stand)

CLOSING PRAYER & BLESSING (hymnal page 43b- 44)

CLOSING HYMN 355:3 “Take the World But Give Me Jesus” (printed in hymnal, all sing)


ANNOUNCEMENTS

Theme for next Sunday (2/25):

The Second Sunday in Lent: Follow Christ Crucified

Note: Please give your completed friendship register page to an usher or pastor as you leave today’s service.

ACTIVITIES FOR THE WEEK FEBRUARY 18-FEBRUARY 24
Sun. 8:00 A.M. Emmanuel Worship
8:20 A.M. Emmanuel Nursery Sunday School
8:30 A.M. St. John’s Sunday School
9:00 A.M. Emmanuel/St. John’s Adult Bible Study
10:00 A.M. St. John’s Worship
11:15 A.M. St. John’s Youth Group lunch and meeting
Mon. PRESIDENT’S DAY
6:30 P.M. Senior Choir at St. John’s
7:30 P.M. Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
Tues.
Wed. 10:00 A.M. Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
1:40 P.M. St. John’s School/Little Lambs early dismissal
2:15 P.M. Public School Teen Confirmation class at St. John’s
3:30 P.M. Block Party at St. John’s gym
3:30 P.M. Emmanuel Devotion
4:15 P.M.-6:00P.M. Lenten Supper
6:30 P.M. St. John’s Devotion
Thurs. 10:00 A.M. Montello Care Center devotion with communion
6:00 P.M. Griefshare at St. John’s lower level
Fri.
Sat. 8:00 A.M. Men of His Word Conference in Oshkosh
SCHEDULE FOR NEXT SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2018

Theme for next Sunday (2/25):

The Second Sunday in Lent: Follow Christ Crucified 

8:00 A.M. Emmanuel Worship
8:20 A.M. Emmanuel Nursery Sunday School
8:30 A.M. St. John’s Sunday School
9:00 A.M. Emmanuel/St. John’s Adult Bible Study
10:00 A.M. St. John’s Worship with communion
11:15 A.M. AV/IT meeting at St. John’s

On March 4 at 11:00a.m., there will be a Teacher Call meeting at St. John’s.

THANK YOU from the St. John’s Youth Group to all who contributed towards last week’s bake sale!

ST. JOHN’S OFFERING STATEMENT SIGN-UP The signup sheet is located in the church link way. Please sign up if you wish to have a copy of your 2017 offering statement.

See the source image2017 OFFERING STATEMENTS If you have signed up to receive your 2017 offering statement, please pick it up in the link way.

EASTER FOR KIDS DONATIONS Planning for 75 children for Saturday, March 24, at St. John’s. Your monetary gifts are needed most and help purchase: 1) crafts 2) plastic Easter pails 3) candy/prizes for 375 plastic eggs 4) outdoor vinyl advertising banner 5) food for lunch 6) treats/other basket stuffers. Donate home-crafted items for the baskets. Volunteer to bake for the baskets. Please contact Linda Wachholz 608-369-2635 to donate or volunteer.

We still collect plain print-free ice cream pails (ValuTime brand at Frietags or others). Donations are not needed for plastic eggs, grass, or traditional baskets. However, if you already have some you would like to give, we will take them. A donation box is located in the linkway.

PRE-REGISTER FOR EASTER FOR KIDS Any child, age 3 through Grade 6, is welcome to attend Easter for Kids at St. John’s on Saturday, March 24. This is an outreach program–it would be great if St. John’s & Emmanuel kids who attend would invite a non-member or unchurched friend! Register online www.stjohnsmontello.org Get registration forms at both churches, in Monday Magazine, on church & school Facebook, & on public bulletin boards around Montello. This year’s theme is “Jesus—Giver of New Life.” Storytime, singing, crafts, baby animal petting zoo, egg hunt, & more bring the true meaning of Easter to the children. Deadline is Friday, March 16.

LENTEN SUPPERS February 21 4:15p.m. – 6:00p.m.

Hosted by the LADIES AID! A free will offering will be taken.

What’s on the Menu? Meatloaf, baked potatoes, corn, salad, desserts, and drinks. See you there!

WEDNESDAY LENTEN DEVOTIONS “Jesus, Our Great High Priest” (based on the New Testament book of Hebrews) is the theme for this year’s midweek Lenten devotions that began Ash Wednesday, 2/14 3:30 p.m. at Emmanuel and 6:30 p.m. at St. John’s. Supper will be served in the St. John’s lower level from 4:15–6:00 p.m. “Jesus, I will ponder now, on your holy passion.” (Hymn 98)

2018 OFFERING COMMITMENTS Winnebago Lutheran Academy…Emmanuel: $2,000 & St. John’s $2,400 – Synod Mission Offering…Emmanuel: $6,000 to CMO & St. John’s: $7,200 “God loves a cheerful giver.” (1 Corinthians 9:7)

CROOK YOUTH BIRD FEEDER PROJECT Many thanks to generous Gene Crook for arranging craft kits for our churches youth & their parents to complete at his workshop on Tuesday 2/13 at 3:30pm.

Usher Schedule
February 18 E Wayne Stelter, Warren Buchholz,
SJ James Wachholz; Chief, Kevin Kaul, Scott Ritz, James Kunde, Ken Borzick
February 21 SJ Dennis Wacholtz; Chief, Thomas Wojtalewicz
E Don Stelter, Dave Radke
February 25 E Darrell Buchholz, Paul Wuerch, Joe Heller
(with comm) SJ Jack Yates; Chief, Ben Emond, Tyler Emond, James Henke, Paul Van Treeck
February 28 SJ Don Smith; Chief, Martin Schmanke
E Done Stelter, Dave Radke
St. John’s Greeter Schedule
February 18 Jim & Diane Eisermann
February 25 Harold & Judy Fandrey
March 4 Aaron Kendall & Christopher Smith
March 11 James & Linda Wachholz
Attendance Emmanuel St. John’s
2-11 2-14 (Ash Wed.) 52 78 180 69
St. John’s Altar Committee

February 2018

Jennie Utke & Susan Brown

Welcome To Our Visitors!

Please Sign Our Guest Register

Visit our website & Facebook link at: www.stjohnsmontello.org

https://www.facebook.com/St-Johns-Evangelical-Lutheran-Church-107160252675/

Pastor Peter Zietlow Office (608) 297-2321

Cell & Text (608) 408-7830, E-mail: zietlowpl6@hotmail.com

Principal Tim Hemling (608) 745-2549

Teacher Karin Stellick (920) 342-3689

Teacher Sara Borck (858) 731-7919

Teacher Sandra Hemling (608) 745-2776

Parish/School Secretary Ciara Neuhauser (608) 297-2866

Altar Ladies Elaine Kelm (920) 344-0025 &

Carolyn Rosenthal 589-5036

Mail to: 313 E Montello St, Montello, WI 53949

OR scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org

Winnebago Lutheran Academy

Principal Mr. David Schroeder/WLA office (920) 921-4930

WLA website: www.wlavikings.org

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God is Holy – February 16, 2018

“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.’”
Leviticus 19:2

God is Holy


Daily Devotion – February 16, 2018

Devotion based on Leviticus 19:2

See series: Devotions

God in heaven is absolutely perfect. He wants heaven to be a perfect place for us as well, so he says that nothing imperfect, unclean, or sinful will ever enter there. Because God wanted the people of Israel to enter there, he told them to be holy. He says the same thing to us today. Be holy, and we will earn heaven.

How holy? God wants us to be as holy as he is. That means no bad thoughts, no sinful words, no wrong deeds, from the beginning of life all the way through every day. He knew that people would try to water down that standard, so he gave the Ten Commandments to the entire assembly of Israel, and told them to obey those rules. He said that they should practice such obedience for the right reasons—loving God with all their power and loving their neighbor as themselves.

When the holy God looked down from heaven to see how the people of Israel were doing, he saw that no one was righteous, not even one. He sees the same thing when he looks at us today. Although he searched the whole world, he could not find and still cannot find a single holy person—except for Jesus.

Jesus lived an absolutely holy life. He never thought anything wrong, he never said anything wrong, and he never did anything wrong. He always did the right thing, even under difficult circumstances, and he always refrained from doing the wrong thing.

Jesus never sinned. He earned his way to heaven! But instead of taking the heaven that he deserved, Jesus took the hell that we deserve. The Bible says, “God made him who had no sin be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). God punished Jesus for our sin, and Jesus suffered hell, separation from God the Father, on the cross.

Through faith in Jesus, you have his perfect, holy life credited to your account, and you will receive heaven as a free gift when you die. Yes, there will be no more sin in heaven. Through Jesus, you will be holy, because the Lord your God is holy.

Prayer:
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your amazing gift. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
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.

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God is Everywhere – February 15, 2018

“Am I only a God nearby,” declares the LORD, “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 23:23-24

God is Everywhere


Daily Devotion – February 15, 2018

Devotion based on Jeremiah 23:23-24

See series: Devotions

I woke up in a youth hostel halfway around the world. Frankfurt, Germany was the farthest I had ever been from home. I had a few moments before the day of exploring the city started. I pulled out my little travel Bible from my backpack and determined that I’d read whatever happened to open. What opened? Jeremiah chapter 23.

Verses 23 and 24 jumped out at me. God is EVERYWHERE. God was in Frankfurt. He was on the plane. He was in the United States. The Lord was where I was and everywhere I wasn’t. God is EVERYWHERE at the same time—always.

That can be a scary thought. God is with me when I dole out hate to the people God has called me to love. God is with me when lies tumble off my tongue instead of truth. God is with me when I hide shameful habits from friends and family. Since God is EVERYWHERE, God is witness to every sin of mine.

The Lord who is EVERYWHERE chose to be Immanuel, God with us—true God and true man. The one who is EVERYWHERE chose to be THERE.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, lived in lowly Nazareth, and was baptized in the Jordan River. He healed on hillsides, preached from boats, and taught at the Temple. Jesus chose to stand on trial, to be nailed to a cross just outside Jerusalem, and laid in a nearby tomb. Jesus rose and walked out of that tomb. He strolled and taught his way from Jerusalem to Emmaus with some struggling followers. Our risen Jesus enjoyed a fish breakfast on the beach with his friends, met with over 500 disciples in Galilee, and ascended to heaven. Jesus was there, in all those places, so that we could be forgiven and forever with him there in heaven.

Since we know why and how Jesus was “THERE,” we find great comfort in the fact that the Lord is EVERYWHERE. God is with you everywhere you go, and forgives you and gives you peace. The Lord, your Shepherd, promises to always be with you as he guides you, comforts you, and strengthens you.

No matter where you go, the Lord is there because God is EVERYWHERE.

Prayer:
Lord God, you are EVERYWHERE. Forgive me for every sin you see and know I commit. Give me joy, strength, and peace in your love, forgiveness, and constant presence. Thank you for being everywhere and always with me. Amen.

Prayer:
Lord, you are EVERYWHERE. Forgive me for every sin you see and know I commit. Give me joy, strength and peace in your love, forgiveness and constant presence. Thank you for being everywhere and always with me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
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.

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God’s Work Goes On – February 14, 2018

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what can I do for you before I am taken from you.” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit.” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not.” As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more.
2 Kings 2:9-12

God’s Work Goes On


Daily Devotion – February 14, 2018

Devotion based on 2 Kings 2:9-12

See series: Devotions

There were people who knew that it was almost time for Elijah to be taken to heaven. Elijah knew it. Elijah’s helper, Elisha, knew it. So did the young men at the schools of the prophets that Elijah and Elisha met during their last travels together. All of them were aware that soon the Lord would bring to a close the ministry of his prophet Elijah.

So, what did that mean for the work that Elijah had been doing? Elisha already knew that he was chosen to be Elijah’s successor. When Elijah’s ministry was complete, Elisha would become God’s prophet to the people of Israel. But would Elisha have what he needed to proclaim God’s Word to the people of Israel, who were not in any way less idolatrous and rebellious now than they were when Elijah began his ministry?

When it was almost time for him to be taken to heaven, Elijah asked Elisha if there was anything he could do for him before he was taken. Elisha very wisely replied, “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit.” In that culture, when a father died, his first-born son inherited two portions of his estate. Elisha was asking that he be recognized as Elijah’s heir. He was asking that the Lord would give him what he needed to step into Elijah’s role as God’s prophet. Elijah knew that he himself could not give Elisha what he asked for. But he was confident that God could and would give it, if Elisha saw Elijah taken to heaven.

Suddenly, what everyone was expecting happened. A chariot and horses of fire appeared and separated Elisha from Elijah. And Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha had seen Elijah taken to heaven. Would he also inherit two portions of Elijah’s spirit? Would he be recognized as Elijah’s heir?

Yes, he did. And yes, he was. The Lord fulfilled his promise and was with Elisha just as he had been with Elijah. Strengthened by God, Elisha stepped into Elijah’s role and continued the work of proclaiming God’s Word. God’s work went on.

God’s work continues today. Because he still wants all people to hear the good news of all that he has done for them in Jesus, the Lord continues to call people to proclaim that good news. In every generation, from Elijah all the way until today, the Lord has provided men and women whom he strengthened and equipped for the task of sharing his good news. And he has promised that he will continue to provide more good news proclaimers in every generation until he returns to take his people home. How grateful we are that God’s work goes on, generation after generation! And how thankful we are for those who God has used to bring his good news to us!

Prayer:
Lord God, I praise you that you always make sure that the work of proclaiming your good news goes on. Bless your good news proclaimers so that many more may come to believe in you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
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.

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Free – February 13, 2018

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17

Free


Daily Devotion – February 13, 2018

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 3:17

See series: Devotions

Christian author, Timothy Keller tells of a woman who has tasted what real freedom is.

As a parish pastor, Keller met this woman when she was in her 40’s. Years of trouble, however, made her look far older. She had not always looked this way. In her teens and in her 20’s, this woman had breathtaking physical beauty. In fact, her attractiveness was so striking that powerful men would habitually pursue her. They wanted her by their side, however, just to display her as a trophy—just to show others how powerful and influential they were.

This went on for years. As the years went by, two terrible things happened to her. For one, these men of power often abused and humiliated her. For another, these experiences broke her down. They conditioned her into assuming that if there was any kind of meaning or value in her life, she would only find it when she was with a man—any man.

She started to see a therapist. The therapist helped her see that, for far too long, she had been seeking her sense of worth in the wrong place. Then the therapist offered a solution. “Instead of seeking your sense of worth in a man, you need to seek your sense of worth in some kind of career. Then, when you are successful in that career, your sense of worth will be in a good place.”

The woman took in this advice from her therapist. She thought for a moment and then responded. With great respect she asked her therapist. “And so instead of getting all my sense of worth from loving a man, now I’m going to get all my worth from being successful and making money?” Then she asked her therapist this question. “What if I don’t want either addiction? Can’t you let me build my life on something that cannot let me down?”

It was during this period in her life when the Good News of Jesus embraced her soul. Now she is free. She is free from serving something that cannot possibly bear the weight of her needs. She is free from serving something that can only let her down. She is free because Jesus has washed her in his blood and wrapped her in the blanket of his own righteousness. She is free because, through faith in Jesus, she now belongs to him. She is free because, through faith in Jesus, the old desperation and the old fears are gone.

Through that same faith in Jesus, you are free too.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, through faith in you, I am free. Forgive me for all the times I have sought my sense of worth in anything other than you. Refresh me in your Spirit. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
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.

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With Jesus I am Never Alone – February 12, 2018

Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
Mark 9:8

With Jesus I am Never Alone


Daily Devotion – February 12, 2018

Devotion based on Mark 9:8

See series: Devotions

The disciples must have been disappointed. One moment they saw a glimpse of heaven. Jesus allowed his glory as God to be seen. Moses and Elijah miraculously appeared. God the Father’s praise majestically echoed from the cloud. The next moment everything was gone. All that remained was the familiar form of Jesus.

I have experienced the same disappointment. For a brief moment everything in my life seemed wonderful. There were no problems, no conflicts, and everything made sense. I was content because God was good and his blessings were clearly evident. Suddenly, everything changed. My life was filled with chaos and I felt very alone. While I tried to convince myself of the Bible’s promises, I couldn’t escape the emptiness I felt.

Although I may suffer disappointment, loneliness, and emptiness, I need to understand that with Jesus I am never alone.

I can be certain of his presence in my life because he said, “I am with you always.” This tells me there is never a time when I am alone. He is always there to guide me with his Word. He is always there to comfort me with his love. He is always there to encourage me with his promises.

Even more convincing is the work he completed to assure me “nothing will ever separate me from his love.” Jesus secured his Father’s approval to free me from the tyranny of my sin-stained life. Jesus accepted his Father’s just judgment to release me from the verdict of separation and punishment. Jesus endured the attacks of the devil and the horror of the grave to claim me as his own.

When I remember Jesus’ faithful promises, his precious work, and his undeserved love, I can live with complete certainty and peace. With Jesus I am never alone.

Prayer:(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal–588):
I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless; Ills have no weight and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still if thou abide with me.
Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes; Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
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.

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