To the Ends of the Earth – October 5, 2018

This is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 13:47

To the Ends of the Earth


Daily Devotion – October 5, 2018

Devotion based on Acts 13:47

See series: Devotions

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable companies in the entire world and for good reason. Last year they spent almost 4 billion dollars, nearly 12% of all the money they earned, on advertising. As a result, more than 90% of the world’s population has seen the Coca-Cola logo. In the 200 countries where it is sold, the average person consumes a coke product every four days.

While that is impressive, it is nowhere close to what Jesus has done and continues to do. Without a huge budget and promotional expertise, Jesus has brought salvation to the ends of the earth.

Jesus lived a perfect life obeying all of God’s commands. Whether you are in America, Africa, or Asia, or anywhere else, God gave you the righteousness of Jesus who perfectly loved God with all his heart, soul, and mind, and loved his neighbor as himself.

He died an innocent death paying for the sin of the whole world. More valuable than any dollar amount, Jesus’ blood was poured out on Calvary’s hill. It was only with this greatest cost that all the sins of the world were taken away.

In the vital mater of our salvation, it’s not a trendy slogan or recognizable logo that are memorable. It’s the outstanding truth that Jesus defeated our greatest enemy for us. He rose from the grave, justifying us before God and defeating death. With his grave forever empty Jesus left the world the greatest gift: a tomb that would stay forever empty.

All of this our Savior did for the whole world that he might bring salvation to the ends of the earth. Jesus is the light of salvation for all people. We see evidence of this today because there are Christians in every corner of the world and the gospel is preached in every country. May this gospel find a place in our hearts and may we share it even to the ends of the earth.

Prayer:
Jesus, you are the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Give to each of us your peace of salvation. 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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You Will Be a Witness for Jesus – October 4, 2018

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

You Will Be a Witness for Jesus


Daily Devotion – October 4, 2018

Devotion based on Acts 1:8

See series: Devotions

In court cases, both the prosecution and the defense look for witnesses to help make their cases. The testimony of someone who saw a crime take place or who gives an alibi for the accused can greatly affect the outcome of a trial. When witnesses are summoned, they must testify to what they know.

Jesus summoned his disciples to be his witnesses. He didn’t say that they could or that this was possible for them; he said that they will be his witnesses. The disciples had seen what Jesus had done. They heard him preach, saw the miracles, witnessed his death, and saw him after he rose from the dead. By faith, their responsibility was to testify to others about what Jesus had done and what his work means—the forgiveness of sins.

Jesus still calls his believers to be his witnesses. The Savior calls them to tell what he has done to save the world from sin and death. That can be a scary thing. Fear is a powerful motivator to keep quiet. Fear often leads people to disobey God’s command and fail to be witnesses for Jesus. Fear then becomes what they serve rather than God.

God has called on you to testify to the work of Jesus. By Jesus’ death and resurrection God forgives all of your sins, including the sin of fear-induced silence. Because God forgives you, he also empowers you to testify what you know. It’s not an option. This is what Jesus calls his followers to do. By faith in him as their Savior, they joyfully proclaim Jesus’ saving truths.

Jesus told his disciples to start their work right where they were. God calls you to do the same. Be a witness of Jesus with friends and family. Take your Savior with you wherever you go, faithfully testifying about him.

Prayer:
Lord, make me your witness. Use me to testify your saving work to others. 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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Perfect – October 3, 2018

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Genesis 2:18

Perfect


Daily Devotion – October 3, 2018

Devotion based on Genesis 2:18

See series: Devotions

“Perfect!” the waitress said to the customer when he placed an order. “That’s perfect,” the woman said to the person adjusting a picture. “Everything is perfect,” a bride commented as she looked over the decorations in the reception hall.

But that’s not really what “perfect” means, is it? It’s not just okay or correct or nice. Perfect means holy, sinless, spotless, pure. And that is what God himself meant when he said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

God’s standard of “good” is nothing less than perfect. His creation would not be perfectly complete until he created Eve to be a suitable helper for Adam. And so that is what he did. Before the sixth day of creation was over, God formed Eve out of the rib of Adam and brought her to him for the first and best marriage on this earth. At that point everything truly was perfect.

But it didn’t stay perfect for long. Soon after this perfect marriage, Adam and Eve succumbed to the trickery of the devil and ate that piece of fruit from the tree that was forbidden. Instantly sin rushed into the world affecting nature, the weather, and especially the bodies, minds, and hearts of human beings. We are still suffering the fallout from that event. Because of the fact that perfection was ruined in the Garden of Eden, we carry around with us that inbred natural sinful disposition today. We are not truly “perfect” anymore.

And yet the Lord compares his relationship with us to marriage! Even though every marriage in this world has been subverted by sin, selfishness, stress, and frustration, God calls himself our groom and lovingly accepts us as his bride.

The most amazing part of it all, however, is that he declared us perfect. Through Jesus’ bloody cross and his now-vacant tomb, we are counted holy in his sight, forgiven, precious, and more important to him than anything or anyone else. We might not have good and right relationships with others here on this earth, but our marriage to the Lord will always be “good” because of him. In fact, it’s perfect.

Prayer:
Thank you, Jesus my groom, for bringing me into this special union with you through faith. May your perfection and forgiveness surround my life until I meet you face to face. 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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Attitude – October 2, 2018

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7

Attitude


Daily Devotion – October 2, 2018

Devotion based on James 4:7

See series: Devotions

Evangelist Barry McGee shares the story of a woman by the name of Lexy Fowler. Lexy was a sheep rancher in Montana, and she had a problem. Her problem was coyotes.

Coyotes were killing her sheep, and not just one here and there. She was losing scores of sheep every year. She had tried all kinds of things to stop them. She’d tried odor sprays, electric fences, and battery-operated radios. She’d corralled them at night and herded them by day. Nothing seemed to work.

But then, Lexy Fowler discovered what other sheep ranchers in the West have discovered. She discovered the llama.

As it turns out, the llama has a real attitude whenever it sees a coyote. It recognizes the coyote for the deadly threat that it is. At the first sight of a coyote, the llama gets aggressive. It assumes a certain posture. It makes a certain sound. It stares the coyote down and even spits. And if the coyote hasn’t gotten the message by then, the llama will walk straight toward it. “[Coyotes] won’t have anything to do with that,” said Lexy Fowler. “Coyotes are opportunists, and llamas take that opportunity away.”

The attitude of the llama changed everything for Lexy Fowler. Whenever the coyotes encountered one of her llamas, the coyotes fled.

The attitude of the llama is a vivid reminder for you and me. The devil is real, and his mission is clear. When the devil approaches us with sinful temptations, he is not playing some half-hearted game for his own amusement. He is playing for keeps. Ever and always it is the devil’s ultimate goal to separate us from our Savior Jesus.

“Resist the devil,” God tells us in his word. Do not tolerate him. Do not make peace with him. Do not pretend you can share the same space. Resist him. Recognize him for what he is. Stand firm in the full forgiveness and new life Jesus has purchased for you at the cross.

When you do, the devil will flee. But remember—he will flee not because of your attitude in and of itself. He will flee because of the One who gives you reason for that attitude. He will flee because of Jesus Christ.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, the devil prowls around me every day. When he comes, empower me by your Spirit to resist him. Remind me that he will flee. And remind me how terrified he is of 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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Not One of Us – October 1, 2018

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.”
Mark 9:38-40

Not One of Us


Daily Devotion – October 1, 2018

Devotion based on Mark 9:38-40

See series: Devotions

The disciples were seemingly concerned about Jesus’ ministry. They believed the man driving out demons was exercising an authority that wasn’t rightly his. Unfortunately, the disciples were more concerned about their privileged position.

Jesus needed to correct his disciples, and there are times I need the same correction. It is easy to look at others outside of my circle of contacts and be suspicious of them. They may not worship the way I do. They may not have the same practices I have. They may not use the same hymnal and Bible translation I do. So, I come to the conclusion the disciples did, they are not one of us.

Jesus’ lesson makes me rethink my conclusion. The man who was driving out demons did it by the power of Christ. Jesus recognized him as one of his believers. Otherwise the Lord’s command to not stop the man would have been quite different.

Jesus focused on the importance of doing work “in his name.” I will need to always practice everything the Bible teaches about unity with other believers, but when believers work in the name of Jesus and for the rescue of souls through faith in him, instead of stopping or silencing them, I can appreciate the good that God accomplishes through them.

They teach about Jesus. They proclaim the good news of the salvation that Jesus won by his death on the cross. They lead sinners to know the peace of God’s forgiveness through their Savior. And the Word of God that they spread in the name of Jesus accomplishes God’s gracious will—the saving of souls.

Prayer:
O gracious Savior, you died to make me yours. Lead me to praise you for all who put their trust in you and appreciate all who are dedicated to proclaiming your saving name. 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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