The Circle of Life – November 18, 2018

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

The Circle of Life


Daily Devotion – November 18, 2018

Devotion based on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

See series: Devotions

I miss my dad.

He died when I was ten-years-old. Automobile accident. I remember the ache in my heart in the following months as our family adjusted to life without him.

Death stinks! It rips a huge hole in the heart of loved ones left behind. It tears them apart. It leaves them wishing for a few more joyful days with the person who passed.

Death stinks because of sin. Death became part of the “circle of life” when the human race chose to rebel against God. Our sin separates us from God, the source of all life. Without him, every sinner dies. We can do nothing to change this reality.

But God could and did.

His Son Jesus volunteered to die for us. The Father and Son worked out a plan that Jesus would die under God’s curse. God redirected his curse away from us and blasted Jesus with eternal death. Jesus suffered horribly, but he did it willingly to take the stink and sting out of death.

Death still hurts really badly because we miss people who have died. But we know that if they died in Jesus, we’ll see them again in heaven. (Dying in Jesus means dying with the trust that God will take you to heaven all because of Jesus.) When a Christian dies, we mourn, we cry, we hurt, but we also hope. We hope our loved one is in heaven because of Jesus. We hope we will be in heaven too, because of Jesus.

Unlike hoping for good weather tomorrow, our hope of heaven is guaranteed, rock solid, unchangeable, undeniable. Jesus conquered death by rising from the dead himself. He floods our hurting hearts at the side of a casket with the hope of eternal life. We can and do depend on this hope.

So, while I miss my dad, I know I will see him again. I will get to know him man to man. I’ll hear his laugh again and experience that big heart of his. Most importantly, we’ll both enjoy spending time with our Savior and our God. Because we’ll be with the Lord forever.

How can I be sure? Jesus died for him. Jesus died for me. And Jesus died for you.

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for dying to take away our sins. Thank you for promising to give us heaven. By your love, take us home when the time comes so we can be with you and our loved ones forever. 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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Just Wait – November 17, 2018

Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor, O Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again. Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion. For this is what the LORD says: “You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed.” … Therefore my people will know my name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I.”
Isaiah 52:1-3,6

Just Wait


Daily Devotion – November 17, 2018

Devotion based on Isaiah 52:1-3,6

See series: Devotions

How many times have you had to say “Just Wait” in the last week? When kids get a little antsy about what they want from a parent, when co-workers are a little overbearing about a favor that they need, yes even when a spouse makes the same request one too many times, the response comes out so easily: “Just Wait!”

God told his people “Just Wait!” In fact that could be a theme of the whole Old Testament, “Just Wait!” God promised Adam and Eve that he would make one of their offspring the Savior, and then he told them to wait! God told Abraham he would give him a son and then made him wait for 25 years for Isaac to be born.

Isaiah wrote to people who were waiting. If they listened to Isaiah’s message, they were waiting for judgment. Like a mother that tells a disobedient child, “Just wait until your father gets home!” that was Isaiah’s message to his people. “You’ve been impatient; you’ve turned to other gods; you’ve rejected the true God. Now you just wait!”

And we’ve been there, too. We want God’s promises fulfilled today! We want health restored, relationships reconciled, comfort granted. We want what we want and we want it now! And when God doesn’t grant it, when he tells us “Just wait,” we grow angry with God and turn elsewhere, to other gods really, for comfort and happiness and hope.

For that, we deserve the judgment that Israel received. We deserve worse than captivity at the hands of a foreign army, we deserve eternal slavery in hell.

But wait! Isaiah’s “Just Wait!” message was not only about judgment, it was about forgiveness as well. God said, “You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed.” God would bring his people back from slavery and restore them to the land that he gave them. Without money God has redeemed us as well. It cost far more than money, but God paid it nonetheless. In love he gave us his Son. Jesus offered his body and his blood as our redemption price. On the cross he won us back from our impatience, our lack of trust, and all our sins. As he walked from the tomb, he destroyed death’s power and bought us the promise of our own resurrection. The promise of peace that Isaiah gave is ours now in part through Jesus, and it will be ours in full when we become Saints Triumphant in heaven everlasting.

Now we live here on earth, and though it might be hard, we can “Just Wait” for his return. And while we wait and watch, we can serve him and others with our lives. We can tell others that Jesus has come and that he will come again. We can tell the world what we know to be true, that Jesus and his heaven are worth the wait!

Prayer:
Strengthen me, Lord Jesus, while I wait for you to return. Make me to be strong in your Word and to trust in your promises. Help me to wait on your timing for the things in this world and for you to extend to me the riches of your glory. 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 THIRD SUNDAY OF END TIMES THE SAINTS TRIUMPHANT NOVEMBER 18, 2018

EMMANUEL AND ST. JOHN’S

Ev. Lutheran Churches

Mecan and Montello, WI

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

C:\Users\secretary\Downloads\Bulletin cover (4).jpg

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF END TIMES

THE SAINTS TRIUMPHANT

NOVEMBER 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!

END TIMES SUNDAYS Today is the third of the last four Sundays of the church year: Reformation, Last Judgment, Saints Triumphant, and Christ the King. On each of these Sundays we pay close attention to God as he teaches us about the end times of this world and the beginning of eternal life with Jesus in heaven. May Christ bless our worship and prepare our hearts and lives for His return.

A PERSONAL PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP O Lord–my Maker, Redeemer, and Comforter–I have come before you to hear your holy Word. Open my heart by your Holy Spirit, that through the preaching of your Word I may repent of my sins, believe in Jesus, and grow day by day in grace and holiness. Hear me for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

ORDER OF SERVICE–LITURGY

Morning Praise (hymnal page 45)

PASTOR’S GREETING

LITTLE LAMBS & ST. JOHN’S SCHOOL SING “Give Thanks”

By: Don Moen

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Give thanks to the Holy One

Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Give thanks to the Holy One

Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”

Let the poor say, “I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us”

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”

Let the poor say, “I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us”

Give thanks with a grateful heart (with a grateful heart)

Give thanks to the Holy One (to the Holy One)

Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart (with a grateful heart)

Give thanks to the Holy One (to the Holy One)

Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.

Give thanks.

HYMN 216 “Saints, Behold! The Sight Is Glorious” (printed in hymnal, all sing in place of Morning Hymn)

(Please stand)

LITURGY (hymnal page 45b, read & sung responsively)

(Please be seated for the day’s Scripture readings)

GOD’S WORD FOR TODAY

Like children playing hide and seek, Jesus calls out to us through his Word, “Ready or not here I come!” Thanks be to God that through Jesus’ saving work on the cross, we have been made ready! May his Spirit keep us in saving faith in him.

FIRST LESSON Daniel 12:1-3

The saints will shine like to stars

“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people– everyone whose name is found written in the book– will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

EPISTLE LESSON 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (today’s sermon text)

“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”

VERSE OF THE DAY Alleluia. They are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple. Alleluia. (Revelation 7:15)

(Please stand)

GOSPEL John 5:25-29

The Son of God will raise the dead and separate believer from unbeliever

“I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out– those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”

(Please be seated)

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE

SERMON HYMN 550 “Behold a Host, Arrayed in White”

(printed in hymnal, all sing)

SERMON 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

“End Times 101”

  1. Reassurance
  2. Return
  3. Resurrection
  4. Reunion

Z:\CHURCH STUFF\CW Supplement Electronic Pew Edition CD ROM\TIFF files\Hymns\CWS 728.tifHYMN 728:1-2 (in place of Te Deum, printed on bulletin pages 5 & 6)

Z:\CHURCH STUFF\CW Supplement Electronic Pew Edition CD ROM\TIFF files\Hymns\CWS 728.tif

(Please be seated)

OFFERING, WORSHIPER GREETINGS, FRIENDSHIP REGISTERS & WELS CONNECTION DVD & INSERT

OFFERING PRAYER (read by pastor)

(Please stand)

LITURGY (hymnal page 50a, all sing)

SAINTS TRIUMPHANT SUNDAY PRAYER (read by pastor)

INTERCESSORY PRAYERS

– For those hospitalized, ill, shut-in and facing trials: George Alexander, George Chapman, Gene & Sharon Crook, Harley & Liola Crown & son Terry, Agnes Dassow, Elaine Emond (Mark’s mother), Earl Ewert, Mike Farrell, Kellen Grucza (Judy Fandrey’s daughter), Dawn Hirn (Linda Krause’s niece), Joel Jaster, Bob Klapper (Sandy’s husband), Arden “Bill” Klimke, Linda Krause, Pete Laun, Anna Madigan, Lilly Mann, LuAnn Reber, Wayne Riemer, Frankie Russell, Mark Russell (Elsa’s son), Dennis Schwanke (Mary Isberner’s friend), Amanda Stalker, Dennis & Ramona Wacholtz, Donny Weber (Betty’s son), Paul Weldon, Millie Wildt (John’s wife) – (added this week: )

– For those affected by the California wild fires

LORD’S PRAYER (hymnal page 50b, all read)

(Please be seated)

PRAYER FOR GRACE & BLESSING (hymnal page 50c-51)

CLOSING HYMN 728:3 (printed on bulletin pages 5 & 6, all sing)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

THEME FOR NEXT SUNDAY NOVEMBER 25, 2018

End Times 4: Christ the King

ACTIVITIES FOR THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 18-NOVEMBER 24

Sun.

8:00 A.M.

Emmanuel Worship

8:30 A.M.

St. John’s Sunday School

9:00 A.M.

St. John’s Adult Bible Study

10:00 A.M.

St. John’s Worship with communion

9:30am-12:00pm

Book Fair in Gym

Mon.

6:30 P.M.

Bible Information Class at St. John’s

6:30 P.M.

Choir at St. John’s

7:30 P.M.

St. John’s Adult Bible Study

Tues.

6:30 P.M.

Men’s Bible Study at St. John’s

Wed.

NO LITTLE LAMBS/ST. JOHN’S SCHOOL

THANKSGIVING BREAK

10:00 A.M.

Adult Bible Study at St. John’s

6:30 P.M.

St. John’s Thanksgiving Eve Worship

Thurs.

THANKSGIVING DAY

NO LITTLE LAMBS/ST. JOHN’S SCHOOL

THANKSGIVING BREAK

9:00 A.M.

Thanksgiving Day Worship at Emmanuel

10:10 A.M.

Montello Care Center Devotion with communion

6:00 P.M.

NO Griefshare

Fri.

NO LITTLE LAMBS/ST. JOHN’S SCHOOL

THANKSGIVING BREAK

Sat.

SCHEDULE FOR NEXT SUNDAY NOVEMBER 25, 2018

End Times 4: Christ the King

8:00 A.M.

Emmanuel Worship

8:30 A.M.

St. John’s Sunday School

9:00 A.M.

St. John’s Adult Bible Study

10:00 A.M.

St. John’s Worship with communion

11:15 A.M.

Christmas tree decorating & light lunch at St. John’s

MEMORIAL In loving memory of Rai Lynn Hodgkins, $530.00 was gifted to Little Lambs and $20.00 was gifted to St. John’s School by family and friends. The family of Rae Lynn would like to thank all of you for your prayers and kindness shown through this difficult time. The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away-blessed be the name of the Lord.

THANK YOU to all who helped organize Grandparents Day last Tuesday at school and the Holiday Trail events (book fair, bake sale, Thai Village sale) this weekend.

THAI VILLAGE The Thai Village craft sale will be open today after 10:00am church in the St. John’s link way. With Christmas just around the corner, there’s no reason to start shopping now. Come check it out!

ST. JOHN’S DIRECTORIES ARE HERE! If you sat with Lifetouch for a photography session and had a Lifetouch photo put into our new directory, come pick up your free directory in the link way. If you submitted your own photo and would like a directory, they can be purchased for $10.00 ea.

PLEASE MUTE YOUR CELL PHONES before the worship service begins. No texting while driving or worshiping.

MEN’S BIBLE CLASS this week Tuesday at 6:30pm. Being tolerant is good, right? Or is it? What does God say?

TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH WELS DVDS are available in the St. John’s link way-$5 donation.

ADVENT begins on Sunday, December 2, this year.  It’s the season that anticipates the coming of the Savior.  We prepare for this coming in many ways.  But one way is by decorating and beautifying our homes and churches.  We use a circle of artificial greens around our Advent candles in the front of the church, with each candle lit in order on Sundays in Advent, and each candle symbolizing an important event on the way to the Savior’s birth—the last candle is the Christ Candle. 

 But another way is to hang Christmas wreaths on the church doors as a sign of welcome. 

 Once again—anyone interested in donating toward the purchase of wreaths for the front doors at St. John’s is encouraged to contact LuAnn Zieman at 608-297-2422 or email zieman@bugnet.net or by mail at W1440 State Rd 23, Montello, WI 53949.

GRIEFSHARE No Griefshare this week due to Thanksgiving. We will see you next week.

CHRISTIAN ONE-LINERS (from a WELS member): “Quit griping about your church; If it was perfect, you couldn’t belong.”

https://bookfairs.scholastic.com/bookfairs/cptoolkit/assetuploads/400016_LG_enchanted_forest_clip_art_gnome_toadstool.jpgSCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR It’s the last day to come and check out the book fair! Today, hours are 9:30am-12:00pm!

VOLUNTEERS WANTED AT EMMANUEL Emmanuel Lutheran Church is still recruiting 1 (or more) volunteers to assist with the following position; all expenses are reimbursed by Emmanuel Lutheran Church.  

1) Sunday School Teacher: This individual will help further the Christian up-bringing of parish and non-parish children, historically between the ages of 2 and 6, by managing the weekly Sunday School sessions held in the Emmanuel Parish Hall. The timing of the class and age group preference is flexible.  If you are interested in serving the Lord with your time and talents by assisting with these important activities, please contact Darrell Buchholz or Pastor Zietlow.

WELS VOLUNTEERS – https://www.lutheranvolunteerconnect.com/ ie WELS Kingdom Workers, Mission & Relief Teams

CHARITY GIVING In the past WELS members have asked about supporting the Salvation Army with their time (ringing bells/soliciting offerings) and giving offerings.  Below is a clip from the WELS.net Q&A regarding WELS participation with the Salvation Army.  –Pastor Z

 

Is it acceptable to ring the bells or contribute money for the Salvation Army during Christmas time because of the charity they do, despite the false doctrine in the Salvation Army Church?

     Your question links the charitable work of the Salvation Army with the mission of that church, which is driven by their false doctrine. That is important to keep in mind. The work they do is in line with the mission of their church.

     As you indicated, there is false doctrine in that church. The Salvation Army is a self-described “holiness movement,” placing greater emphasis on the Christian’s life than on what God has done for people through Jesus Christ his Son. The Salvation Army rejects the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

     2 John 10-11 (“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.”) instructs us not to support those whose teachings are contrary to Scripture. That applies to the church in your question. That applies to any church that holds to false doctrine. While we can appreciate the tenacity of the bell ringers of that church at Christmas time, we cannot support their mission.

     There is no need to feel like a Scrooge by walking past the bell ringers. We can help meet the material needs of others (Isaiah 58:7; Galatians 6:10) through contributions to charitable agencies that are not tied to churches that hold to and teach false doctrine. We can give to our church body’s Christian Aid and Relief.

     In gratitude for God’s blessings and in compassionate concern for the material and spiritual needs of others, Christians have reason for charitable giving at Christmas time and every season of the year. Yes, “Let us all be cheerful givers To the glory of your name” (Christian Worship 577:3).

     (Note: Questions submitted to WELS.net Q&A are answered by WELS pastors/professors serving at Martin Luther College and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Some of the local, non-religious charities which Emmanuel and St. John’s members do support are: 1. Marquette County “Care & Share” Food Bank, 2. Marquette County Giving Tree, 3. Tots to Teens Holiday Book Drive via Literacy Volunteers of Marquette County, 4. Montello Public Library.)

TREE TRIMMING AT ST. JOHN’S ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25  Come and help decorate the Christmas tree immediately following the  service next Sunday.  All are welcome, but we do need a couple of younger men who wouldn’t mind climbing the tall ladders and balancing on the pulpit to decorate the top of the tree. A light lunch will be served when the work is done! 

ADVENT BY CANDLELIGHT AT PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH

The Lutheran Girl Pioneers of Peace Lutheran Church, 335 West Prairie Street, Wautoma (www.wautomapeacelutheran.org) invite the girls and ladies of your congregation to their annual Advent by Candlelight event on Sunday, December 2 at 1 pm.

This uplifting event begins with a program led by the Girl Pioneers entitled “To the Ends of the Earth” filled with God’s Word and music, followed by yummy desserts and great fellowship. 

Come spend a few hours preparing your hearts for the upcoming Christmas season.

Seats are limited, so RSVP early!

To RSVP, or for more information, please call Christine at 920-787-3856 by November 25. 

The Peace Lutheran Girl Pioneers strive to be a group, open to all youth ages Kindergarten through high school, that strengthens our girls’ faith in Jesus Christ, and teaches life & leadership skills, all while nurturing friendships that last not only through life, but into eternity. 

You do not have to be a member of Peace to join the Pioneers.

ADVENT BY CANDLELIGHT AT EMMANUEL This year, there will be no Advent by Candlelight at Emmanuel. Thank you.

Attendance

Emmanuel

St. John’s

11-11 11-14

85

144 12

St. John’s Altar Committee:

November 2018

Jennie Utke

&

Susan Brown

St. John’s Greeters Schedule

Nov 18

Don & Doris Smith

Nov 22

James & Linda Wachholz

Nov 25

Ron & Evie Blada

Usher Schedule

November 18

E

SJ

Brian Ninneman, Paul Wuerch, Don Stelter

Don Smith; Chief, Jim Eisermann, Corey Kaul, Jerre Duerr, Robin Smith

November 21

Thanksgiving E

Darrell Buchholz, Glenn Buchholz, Paul Dahlke

November 22

Thanksgiving SJ

Kenon Smith; Chief, Del Henke, Joe Zauner, Gordon Krause, Richard Freitag

November 25

E

(with comm.) SJ

Duwayne Sommerfeld, Glenn Buchholz, Joe Heller

Cal Kapp; Chief, Gergardt Voigt, Mitch Simon, Karl Whitrock, Matt Borzick

See the source image

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Welcome To Our Visitors!

Please Sign Our Guest Register

Visit our website link at: www.stjohnsmontello.org

Like & find us on Facebook

Pastor Peter Zietlow Office (608) 297-2321

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

Teacher Karin Stellick (920) 342-3689

Teacher Sara Borck (858) 731-7919

Teacher Rachel Naumann (847) 913-2135

Teacher Cassie Doering (920) 723-8986

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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Light for Your Heart and Path – November 16, 2018

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105

Light for Your Heart and Path


Daily Devotion – November 16, 2018

Devotion based on Psalm 119:105

See series: Devotions

What good will a light do if you refuse to open your eyes?

God calls his Word a “lamp to my feet” and “a light for my path.” Does God’s light do us much good if we’re vigorously squeezing our eyes and hearts shut?

In his Word—the Bible—God tells us what to do and not do. Does the light of his commands do us much good if we don’t love our neighbor as ourselves? We are mean to others. We lie. We fail to help when we could and should. God tells us to do good and love others, and we shut our eyes to his light.

In his Word—the Bible—God gives us great promises. Does the light of his promises do us much good if we don’t trust him? God promises us his forgiveness, care, wisdom, and love. Yet, we continue to carry our guilt and shame. We think we are the only ones taking care of us. We doubt God’s love in what he allows into our lives. We hear God’s promises and think, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

One of the truly awesome purposes of the Bible is that God’s Word is much more than a light that shines. The Holy Spirit works through the Word to open the eyes of the spiritually blind—people like you and me! The Spirit of God shines his light—his Word—in our souls, hearts, and minds. The light, God’s Word, creates faith. The Holy Spirit turns the light in our hearts brighter and brighter, so that we more closely follow God’s commands and more deeply trust his promises.

The apostle Paul, a follower of Jesus and missionary, wrote to some new Christians: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19).

Read, learn, and meditate on God’s Word. May the Holy Spirit make his light shine brighter and brighter in our hearts and on our paths.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, you give me such a precious gift—your Word. Forgive me for failing to see and trust it as the light and treasure that it is. Work powerfully through your Word. Shine your light in my heart and on my path. 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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Delight in the Word of God – November 15, 2018

Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.
Psalm 119:143

Delight in the Word of God


Daily Devotion – November 15, 2018

Devotion based on Psalm 119:143

See series: Devotions

The hardest time to remember that God loves you is when you’re in trouble. It’s easy to know God’s love when your checkbook is flush, and your body is healthy. But when you’re in distress, God’s love is hard to see. How can you believe that God loves you when you’re broke, when chemo makes your hair fall out, or when a loved one is dying?

Where is God’s love in all of that? Worse, when trouble and distress strike, our natural reaction is to pray, “God, why would you let this happen to a good person like me?” But here’s the thing: I am not a good person.

Who can claim to be perfect in God’s sight? Who doesn’t forget to praise God when life is good? Who doesn’t doubt and complain when life isn’t? Scripture is clear: “There is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:12). Because of sin, we are not good people. We do not deserve God’s love; we deserve trouble and distress.

But notice what today’s passage says: Our delight is God’s Word, not the outward circumstances of life. Trouble is part of an invaluable lesson that God teaches in the Bible and reinforces through experience. We are weak, but he is strong, and he will never let us down.

When you are hard pressed on every side, that’s when you see Jesus exactly where he has promised to be—right beside you. He knows trouble firsthand. Jesus suffered for the sinful world to forgive your imperfection and guarantee you an eternity that has no distress.

Until then, the troubles of life are a tool in God’s hand, and your faith is like a nail. The harder God hits it, the deeper it goes. Distress drives your faith even deeper. It sends you back to your baptism, back to the Word, back to the Lord’s Supper for proof of God’s love and for strength to endure.

So find your delight in God’s promises. You never have to wonder if God loves you. The cross proves it: “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Prayer:
Lord, strengthen me to trust your promises and remember your love in good times and in bad. 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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Sunrise is Coming – November 14, 2018

“For you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays.”
Malachi 4:2

Sunrise is Coming


Daily Devotion – November 14, 2018

Devotion based on Malachi 4:2

See series: Devotions

There is something about a sunrise, isn’t there? Whether you’ve had to pull an all-nighter or if you’re an early morning riser, there’s something energizing about those first rays of sunshine piercing the darkness of the fading night. In a sense, it is healing.

For us who are believers in Jesus, that is what the end of the world will be about; it will be about healing. And what healing it will be! God’s healing rays will drive all of sin’s darkness out of us once and for all! When Jesus returns and takes us to heaven, there will be no more temptations, doubts, fears, anxieties, pride, bitterness, hurt, feelings of inadequacy, messed up relationships, substance abuse, broken promises, shading the truth, and the list could go on and on!

Wow! How much I need that healing! As I read through that list and look at myself, I see failure after failure after failure. I’ve wounded myself; I’ve wounded others! How much I need healing! I so often feel like I am in such deep darkness!

Sunrise is coming, my brothers and sisters in Christ! Jesus is coming back! Yes, the same Jesus who was willing to be laid in a manger, to be led to a cross—he is coming back! He loves you dearly! He paid for your sins in full! He won heaven for you!

And someday the darkness will be pierced once and for all! He’ll return in glory, driving out the darkness of sin forever! You and I will be healed, forever! Sunrise is coming!

Prayer:
Come quickly, Lord Jesus, to heal us! 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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Replace – November 13, 2018

[Christ] has appeared once for all…to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Hebrews 9:26

Replace


Daily Devotion – November 13, 2018

Devotion based on Hebrews 9:26

See series: Devotions

Harry Truman was taking a bath on the second floor of the White House one day when his bathtub nearly fell through the floor. If it had, the president would have landed in the middle of a tea party being hosted by Mrs. Truman for the Daughters of the American Revolution. He immediately called in experts to investigate the building’s condition. What they found was appalling. The 150-year-old structure was on the verge of collapse. As one inspector said, “The White House is staying up through force of habit alone.”

The inspection also revealed something ironic. It revealed that, over the years, every time there had been an effort to “improve” the White House, the improvement had only made matters worse. In light of all this, President Truman was determined not only to save the White House, but to do it in such a way that no future president would have to worry about such a project ever again.

Here’s what happened. Highly trained crews arrived. They carefully preserved the building’s outer shell. They constructed a new foundation, making sure it reached all the way down to solid rock, and not just sand. Finally, they replaced the entire inner structure. They took out all the tired, cracked wood and put in skyscraper-caliber steel. Thanks to Harry Truman, the saving of the White House is about as permanent as permanent can be in this temporary old world.

By nature, your life and mine resembles the condition of the White House when Harry Truman was taking his bath. On our own we may manage to maintain a decent-looking outer shell. But left to us our foundation rests on sand. Inside we are broken. Total collapse is just a matter of when. In addition, anything we do for self-improvement may seem helpful in the short term, but without a radical rescue it only makes matters worse.

And that’s why Jesus came. But when he did, he came not just to shore up our lives here and there for a little while longer. He came to deal with our problem in such a way that we would never have to worry about that problem again. He saw how our sin had broken us. He saw how our sin had given us only shifting sand, only the uncertainty of drifting from one thing to the next.

Then he addressed the problem. He confronted our sin head-on. He took it all to the cross and paid for it in full. In its place, he covered us in the holiness of his own perfect life. Now, through faith in him, we are new. Our foundation is Christ. Our future is secure. And because it is, our days of brokenness and uncertainty are no more.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, apart from you I am broken. In you I am whole. I am yours. 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 Harmony – November 12, 2018

Jesus gave [the Jews] this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
John 5:19

Perfect Harmony


Daily Devotion – November 12, 2018

Devotion based on John 5:19

See series: Devotions

Harmony is much desired but is often elusive. Wives and husbands desire it. Parents hope for it. Children yearn for it. Most people long for harmony even more than happiness. Unfortunately, harmony is shattered by selfishness, bitterness, and animosity.

Although I live in a world which lacks harmony, there is one place I can always find it. It is with God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. This is a precious gift I can never afford to ignore or take for granted.

As Jesus offered a rebuttal to the Jews who persecuted him, he offered a very simple yet profound truth. Jesus made it clear whatever the Father does the Son also does.

God is not divided. Father and Son work in perfect harmony. They are also completely united in working my rescue. Neither works independently, nor is in conflict with the other. It is because of this perfect harmony I find great comfort.

By nature, I rejected and rebelled against God. I stood opposed to his will. Yet, even though I didn’t deserve it, God reached out to rescue me.

In perfect harmony he accomplished everything required to save me. God the Father poured out his love for me in sending his Son. God the Son offered his life for me in dying on the cross. Because of the undivided purpose and perfect harmony of Father and Son, I am released from the just judgment I deserved.

It is because I enjoy the perfect harmony of the Father and Son that I need to take every opportunity to maintain it. I faithfully listen to his Word. I joyfully live in his love. I humbly walk according to his will. As I live in his grace, perfect harmony is fostered and preserved.

Prayer:
O blessed Savior, because of your faithfulness and the undeserved love of your Father, I am united with you by faith. Keep me in your grace, that I may enjoy perfect harmony with you, now and for all eternity. 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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Ready and Waiting – November 11, 2018

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’”
Matthew 25:34

Ready and Waiting


Daily Devotion – November 11, 2018

Devotion based on Matthew 25:34

See series: Devotions

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” These words not only sound a warning, they also offer practical advice. All too often a sweet deal goes sour, and what remains is the bitter after-taste of a lesson learned.

Heaven could be considered as one of those things which sound too good to be true. A place of perfect peace? A place where no sadness or pain exists? A place where only good will be enjoyed forever? While part of me longs for a place like heaven, another part remains incredulous.

While it may sound too good to be true, heaven is ready and waiting. It is the invitation given by my Lord which confirms its reality. God could never tell me to come, if heaven didn’t exist. What adds to my certainty is the way heaven is defined. It has existed before the creation of all things. So, from the very foundations of time the kingdom of heaven has been prepared by God and is waiting for me.

Even more convincing is the work of my Savior. Jesus is the one who gives me the confidence to know I will be called blessed by the Father. To be blessed by God doesn’t mean my life will suddenly become easier. Nor does it mean I will experience a heaven here on earth. What it does mean is that I will experience God’s blessing which comes through the precious life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He rescued me from the condemnation my sin deserved. He redeemed me from the bondage of hell. He even released me from the dreaded power of death and the grave. It is only through faith in Jesus that I know heaven is real, and that it is ready and waiting for me.

How blessed I am to know my Savior. How blessed I am to live every day looking forward to eternal life. How blessed I am to know heaven is ready and waiting.

Prayer:
O gracious Lord, when I am troubled, when I am weary, or when I need encouragement, come to me with your promise of life in heaven. Let your life, your death, and your resurrection be my assurance heaven is ready and waiting. 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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Judgment Will Come – November 10, 2018

“As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.”
Daniel 7:9-10

Judgment Will Come


Daily Devotion – November 10, 2018

Devotion based on Daniel 7:9-10

See series: Devotions

“Judgment will come!” Maybe the title of this devotion makes you feel that you don’t want to even continue with it. Who wants to talk about judgment? It’s not a popular idea in our day. It’s not a popular idea to us either. There’s something in us that doesn’t like the thought of being held accountable to anyone or anything. Maybe that’s why calling someone “judgmental” is one of the biggest insults you can throw at them.

But whether we like it or not, the Bible is clear. There will be a day when God will judge the living and the dead. The One who created every human being, and who formed the world and all that is in it, will judge those who have been given life and breathe and a soul. After seeing a vision of four beasts rising out of the sea, which represented the progression of different kingdoms that would rule the world, Daniel saw the Lord himself take his seat for judgment. It was an awesome picture. The Lord’s clothing and hair were gleaming white, there was fire, and thousands upon thousands of angels. But then silence. The books were opened.

It would be a terrifying vision if this is all that we had. We know our sins. We know what those books would say about us. “Guilty!” We are sinners who deserve to be sent out of God’s presence forever. Thankfully, a couple of verses later, we hear about someone else who is led into that courtroom. Daniel writes: “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).

It’s Jesus! It’s the One who has nothing against him in God’s books. It’s the perfect Son of God who lived in our place on earth and who gave himself on the cross for our sins, so that our record before God is cleared. This is why he is given all authority and power in heaven and on earth. He is the Lamb who was slain for us. Yes, judgment will come. But so has Jesus, and because of him you can stand confidently before the throne of God.

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, as I await your second coming, please help me find my confidence in your perfect life and death. 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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