Thankful for Peace – November 30, 2018

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

Thankful for Peace


Daily Devotion – November 30, 2018

Devotion based on Colossians 3:15

See series: Devotions

Peace. It’s something everyone longs for. We’re getting close to that time of year when celebrities are asked during interviews what they want for Christmas, and many will simply utter some version of the cliché “world peace.” Yet, it is often extremely difficult to achieve.

Peace. It’s an awesome gift that Jesus gives you. However, it is a different kind of peace than the one people often seek. It is better.

What is this peace? It is certainly not the absence of trouble or conflict in life. If that is the kind of peace Jesus promises to give, then he’s not speaking the truth because there is conflict and trouble in life.

The peace that Jesus gives is not peace from trouble, it is peace in the midst of it. It is peace between you and God. It is yours no matter how unpeaceful your life and the lives of those around you might be.

This peace means that when your head hits the pillow at night and your mind begins to review the events that took place that day, you can actually sleep because you are okay with God. The things that you messed up during the day, the people you hurt, the angry words you spoke, the unkind or even hateful thoughts that erupted in your mind—Jesus shed his blood to remove them all.

That means if something were to happen while you sleep and the next time you open your eyes you find yourself face to face with the Judge of heaven and earth, he is not going to bring out a long list of sins and condemn you for them. Jesus was condemned in your place. Your sin has been removed. There is nothing standing in the way of your relationship with God—a relationship that will last eternally in heaven.

That’s the peace of Christ, and it’s yours! Be thankful!

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for shedding your blood on the cross to take away my sins and give me peace with God. That peace is so precious, especially when there is trouble and conflict all around in my life. Forgive me for the times I have not been thankful for it. Help me to treasure this precious gift. In your holy name I ask it. Amen.

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A Kingdom That Lasts Forever – November 29, 2018

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
Hebrews 12:28

A Kingdom That Lasts Forever


Daily Devotion – November 29, 2018

Devotion based on Hebrews 12:28

See series: Devotions

People who live near a fault line ought to be ready to deal with earthquakes. Far beneath them, hidden from sight in the earth’s crust, tectonic movement has the potential to cause the ground on which they stand to give way.

Today’s reading reminds us that there is another kind of fault line that runs through all of creation. There is a beneath-the-surface problem that ought to put every one of us on high alert. Hidden beneath the good qualities we see in ourselves and others is something ominous, something that rumbles to the surface from time to time in the form of selfishness, animosity, even violence. But even when no fault line is evident, the hidden problem remains. The problem is sin, and we are all guilty of it, for as Scripture says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Scripture also reveals that a quake like no other is headed our way, one that is far too powerful to be measured on the Richter scale. “That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat” (2 Peter 3:12). It’s bad enough to be caught in one of earth’s natural disasters. Where can you go when all the heavens and the earth are shaken?

Take heart! There is a kingdom that cannot be shaken, the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

The devil tried tempting Jesus into sin. Jesus wouldn’t sin. Enemies of Jesus thought they could stop him by crucifying him, but he rose from the dead. Jesus the Son of God still rules at God’s right hand, and his kingdom will never end. Everyone who believes in Jesus is a citizen of his kingdom. Just like Jesus, their sin can’t hurt them, and their death can’t stop them. Even when everything in all of creation is destroyed on the Last Day, those in Christ’s kingdom will come through unharmed. All who believe in Jesus are standing on solid ground.

Picture someone who has made it through an earthquake unscathed. They are in awe of what just happened. They are amazed to be alive. They breathe a great sigh of relief. Fellow believer in Jesus, that’s what it will be like for you on the Last Day. In fact, that’s what your life is like right now. Give thanks to Jesus in all you do and serve him with awe and respect. Through faith in Jesus, you have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, my Savior and my King, thank you for rescuing me from sin and death. Be my solid ground today and always. 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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Glorious Jesus Rules Eternally – November 28, 2018

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

Glorious Jesus Rules Eternally


Daily Devotion – November 28, 2018

Devotion based on Daniel 7:13,14

See series: Devotions

Do you wish you could look into the future and see what will happen with all of those American politicians elected earlier this month? Skeptics might say that if the past is any indication, whatever happens won’t be as good as the political leaders predicted it would be.

Our Bible reading for today looks into the future work of a leader, and the news is better. Jesus is that leader. You did not choose him to be your leader. Instead, the Ancient of Days, God the Father, chose Jesus from eternity to be your Lord.

Every promise Jesus made has come true so far, and you can be sure that all of his promises will continue to be fulfilled in the future. How can you be so sure? Jesus is fully human—true man. But he is also fully divine—true God. After he died, he rose from the dead, and soon he will come with the clouds of heaven. God the Father wants you to know that, although Jesus is a human being, he has the same authority, glory, and power that he has as God from eternity. He is both God and man, and that’s great news for you.

As God and man in one person, he will continue to rule forever. You don’t have to worry about him being overthrown or replaced with a different leader who has a different agenda. He understands what you are going through. He sympathizes with your weaknesses, and he promises to help and strengthen you.

Worship this leader because he lived a perfect life in your place. He died to take the punishment for your sins. He promised that, through faith in him, you will join him in heaven. And he says that he will take care of your present the way he has also taken care of your future.

Be glad that you don’t have to worry about his leadership. Glorious Jesus rules eternally for your welfare now and for your future in heaven.

Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 207:6)
O Jesus Christ, do not delay, but hasten our salvation;
We often tremble on our way in fear and tribulation.
Your saints are waiting patiently;
Come soon, Redeemer; make us free from every evil.

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Find Your Peace this Holiday Season – November 27, 2018

Grace and peace to you. . .from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
Revelation 1:4b-6

Find Your Peace this Holiday Season


Daily Devotion – November 27, 2018

Devotion based on Revelation 1:4b-6

See series: Devotions

Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Was the meal perfect? Did you get together with family? Did you spend enough time with them? Did you give enough attention to your children? Did you get all the dishes done? Did you have enough help? Did you get the item(s) you wanted on Black Friday? Did you stay within budget? Were you kind enough to others who had to eat Thanksgiving dinner alone? Did you help those who had no ability to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for themselves or their family?

Oh, and Christmas is coming soon. Will it be perfect? Will the house be clean? Will your decorated home resemble one you might see on a Hallmark Christmas movie? Will everyone stay healthy? Will the Christmas program be ready? Will there be time to make cookies? Will you find just the right gift for everyone on your list? Will anyone find just the right gift for you? Will you set aside enough time for yourself? When Christmas is over, will you be emotionally filled or emotionally exhausted?

What has often been called “The most wonderful time of the year” can, in reality, be one of the most hectic. The season that promises “peace on earth” can, as we go through it, actually fill us with exactly the opposite as we cycle through the various “Did you …”s, “Were you …”s, and “Will you …”s that are often difficult to answer with any type of certainty.

Scripture gives us a better place to focus our attention each day. Better than asking “Did you …?” is asking “Did he …?”

Did Jesus love you enough to die for you, whether or not you burned the turkey? Yes.
Did Jesus’ sacrifice declare you perfect to God, no matter what anyone thinks of your gifts or decorations? Yes.
Did Jesus rise from the dead to assure you that your home of perfection in heaven is already waiting? Yes.
Will he one day come back, look at you, and say “Well done” in front of everyone? Yes.
Will he walk with you this holiday season and provide you with the peace he promises? Yes.
Will he cover with his grace your inevitable weaknesses and mistakes? Yes.

Yes. Yes. A thousand times—yes!

This holiday season, find your peace by looking first to Jesus; the only one who can truly give such a precious gift.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, you were faithful in giving us a Savior. May we be faithful in looking for peace first from him this holiday season. Amen.

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The Heavenly King of Hearts – November 26, 2018

[Jesus said,]”… I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
John 18:37

The Heavenly King of Hearts


Daily Devotion – November 26, 2018

Devotion based on John 18:37

See series: Devotions

Jesus appeared poor and powerless before Pontius Pilate. Yet Christ is the King who meets and exceeds all our needs. His aim was not to advance an army to overcome an earthly empire. Christ came to reign as King of our hearts.

A war is waged to win control of your heart and mine. Such a battle for the human heart is not won by Christ the King with swords or spears, but with truth. The truth is, my heart hurts. It staggers because of the guilt of sin. It reels from the fallout of living in a sinful world. Persistent financial problems perplex my troubled heart with weariness and worry. The constant barrage of stress at home and work threaten to bury my heart in utter hopelessness. My heart longs for an answer to alleviate all my anxiety.

To my hurting heart comes Christ the King. He testifies to the truth as the holy Monarch who stood guiltless before Pilate. He is the heavenly King who emptied himself of all his glory. The King gave the dearest treasure, his own life, as he was lifted upon a cross. Selflessly he suffered death for his subjects as their perfect substitute.

The King of kings conquered sin completely. By his grace he gives the treasure of his kingdom to all who believe in him. Through the punishment he bore, we now have peace with God. In perfect love, he fills the hurting heart with the joy of his forgiveness. Through his powerful gospel promises he reigns triumphant in human hearts.

The love of our King is perfect and unfading. Moved by his love, we live to serve him joyfully as we await his return. The Word of God opens our eyes to the truth of his kingly, holy will. Our King creates in us a new heart that longs to labor in love for him who sacrificially gave himself to win our eternal salvation.

One day the King who came in humility will return in triumphant glory. On the Last Day he will bring his believing subjects to the heavenly kingdom he has prepared for them. We look forward to the day when all our worry and weariness, all our doubts and difficulties will be no more. He will keep his promise of eternal deliverance.

Trust the truth of Christ the King. He reigns now and eternally as the heavenly King of hearts.

Prayer:
Almighty King, I praise you for your triumphant victory through the cross. Continue to testify to the truth of your boundless love so that your kingdom may come to many 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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