Hope for the Future – December 5, 2018

[Jesus] told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Luke 21:29-33

Hope for the Future


Daily Devotion – December 5, 2018

Devotion based on Luke 21:29-33

See series: Devotions

Today, Jesus invites us to think of budding trees. When blossoms burst forth, the message is clear: Summer will soon be here!

I know. It’s December. In many places this time of year, the trees are bare and the temperature is cold. But did you know there are trees “blooming” this time of year? It’s Christmas tree! The message is clear: Christmas is drawing near!

So when Jesus talks about fig trees blooming, he’s really talking about having our souls ready for the advent of his kingdom, when he comes again. The Christmas tree and its decorations can help get us ready for the same:

  • The evergreen tree reminds us that Jesus is the ever-living and eternal Son of God. But he was also born into our world in human flesh so that he could die for our sins. Jesus was even nailed to a wood tree—the cross.
  • The Christmas colors of green and red represent life (green) and death (red). We have life because Jesus gave his life and shed his red blood for us.
  • The star on top of the Christmas tree reminds us of the star that led the Wise Men to find the baby Jesus.
  • All the lights on the Christmas tree remind us that Jesus is the Light in a sin-darkened world. He illuminates our hearts and minds to see God’s truth: that he really is our promised Savior!

So when you see a Christmas tree, remember its “full-bloom” message: God’s kingdom is coming! Jesus is coming! What hope the message of Christmas gives us! Jesus will return to deliver you to his eternal kingdom! That’s a message that not only gets us excited, but also ready to celebrate Christmas, but especially to meet Jesus!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, during this blessed and busy Christmas season, use the sight of the Christmas tree and its decorations to point our attention to you. Help us keep our focus on you so we will be prepared to meet you when you come again! 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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Hope in the Face of Fear – December 4, 2018

[Jesus said] “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Luke 21:25-28

Hope in the Face of Fear


Daily Devotion – December 4, 2018

Devotion based on Luke 21:25-28

See series: Devotions

You may not believe it, but some people are afraid of Christmas. There’s even a fancy-sounding name for this. It’s called: “festivalisophobia.” A fear of festivals.

You might be wondering, “Why would people be afraid of Christmas?” For some, it may be Christmas trees or flashing Christmas lights. More serious are those who are afraid of the message of Christmas. Think about it: If you don’t understand who this holiday is about and why his birth is such a big deal, Christmas and everything that accompanies it can be confusing, even scary!

If Christmas celebrates Jesus’ first coming into our world; can you imagine how afraid those same people might be at Jesus’ second coming on the Last Day? Jesus’ words are startling and scary: “Nations will be in anguish and perplexity…People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world” (vv. 26-27).

But Jesus encourages a very different kind of reaction to the signs of his second coming: “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads.” (v. 28). Jesus doesn’t want us cowering, but confident. He doesn’t want us afraid, but anticipating and ready! Why? “Because your redemption is drawing near” (v. 28).

When you know who Jesus is and how his blood made amends for you sins, there is absolutely nothing to fear, and certainly not Christmas! Not even the scary-sounding events described at the end of this age! Jesus gives us hope in the face of fears!

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, you came to this world to give us hope. Draw us close to you. Quiet our fears and comfort us with your coming. Remind us that you are coming back for us to take us to be with you forever in heaven! Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! 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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The Hope of Salvation – December 3, 2018

“In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: the LORD Our Righteous Savior.”
Jeremiah 33:15-16

The Hope of Salvation


Daily Devotion – December 3, 2018

Devotion based on Jeremiah 33:15-16

See series: Devotions

Ever hear someone begin a sentence by saying, “Back in my day…” Maybe it was a parent or grandparent reminiscing about experiences in life and how different things are today compared to “back in my day.” Depending on the situation, life could either have been more difficult or better.

In some ways life has been made easier. Rapid advancements in technology have transformed how we communicate and made it possible to stay better connected with each other. At the same time, some may argue those very advancements are keeping people from talking face-to-face with each other: “Back in my day, neighbors would just drop by to say, ‘Hi.’ Back in my day, kids could play outside all day unsupervised.”

When the prophet Jeremiah looked back at his days the memory of his people’s past made him wince. They wandered from God, they were unfaithful to him. What a painful memory. Jeremiah knew their only hope of standing before a just and holy God lay not in the past but in the future. That’s why Jeremiah begins today’s passage, “In those days…” He’s looking ahead in hope to a future descendant someone who would “sprout” from ancient King David’s family tree. He would be faithful and save people from their sinful past.

Does the memory of your past make you wince? Our only hope of standing before a just and holy God is by looking ahead this Christmas to the Branch who sprouted from ancient King David’s family tree. He is Jesus! Jesus made right all our past wrongs. Jesus satisfied God’s demands. We are saved from our past and we find our eternal safety in Christ. God’s promise has come true! He packaged and delivered it in a baby in a manger.

So, in these days before Christmas, Jesus’ gives us something to look back at and be thankful. Because of Jesus, we have a future hope of salvation!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for the salvation you have secured for us through your righteousness. 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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A Fulfilled Promise Brings Hope – December 2, 2018

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.”
Jeremiah 33:14

A Fulfilled Promise Brings Hope


Daily Devotion – December 2, 2018

Devotion based on Jeremiah 33:14

See series: Devotions

When a dog hears you say the words “outside” or “walk,” you better be taking that dog for a walk! Even if it’s something that only sounds like one of those words, he’s hearing you make a promise, “We’re going for a walk!”

When a child hears the hint or suggestion of doing something or going somewhere exciting, don’t they react with similar enthusiasm? What a thrill when a child’s ears hear a parent announce, “Pack a bag. We are leaving for grandma and grandpa’s house tomorrow!” Oh my, what excitement is unleashed. From a child’s perspective, they just can’t wait!

Sadly, there are times when promises made become promises broken. Someone did not keep their word. The let-down is huge. The disappointment is real. When that begins to happen too often, we question if the promise is real. We stop believing.

Not so with our Lord. “The days are coming…,” he promised. Although the wait seemed long to God’s people of the Old Testament, God’s promises remained with them. God had made and fulfilled many promises to his people.

Those fulfilled promises were preludes to a greater promise—or as Jeremiah called it in today’s passage, “the good promise.” All God’s promises gave people hope in God’s greater promise yet to be fulfilled. This promise was so good, God repeated it over and over to his people throughout history. People believed in it. Why? Because God was the promise-maker. The Lord always keeps his promises!

The season of Advent before Christmas is so exciting—Christ is coming! It means God kept his “good promise” that he made to us! God’s fulfilled promises gives us the certain hope—that when God makes a promise, he will always keep it!

Prayer:
God of fulfilled promises, make good your promise to return to us. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. 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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Hope in a Name – December 1, 2018

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.’”
Jeremiah 33:14-16

Hope in a Name


Daily Devotion – December 1, 2018

Devotion based on Jeremiah 33:14-16

See series: Devotions

A name is a very important thing. That’s because a name says something about a person. Researchers have found that within a culture people tend to agree on characteristics that are associated with any given name. In other words, we form similar ideas about a person, whether it be their race, social status, or even profession, just by hearing their name. For example, most people in America trust someone who is named “Lincoln,” and when they hear the name “Tiffany,” they think of someone who is wealthy.

The prophet, Jeremiah, comforted the people of Judah, who had experienced destruction at the hands of the Babylonian army, by sharing with them a name. He promised them that in the midst of their despair a righteous Branch would sprout from David’s line and bring salvation. This righteous Branch would be called “The Lord, our righteousness.”

Could you imagine being given that name? Could you imagine telling people that your name was “righteousness?” Jesus Christ could, because when he was born into this world, he lived a perfectly righteous life by following all of God’s commands. He not only did what no one else has ever done, he took our sins upon himself and give us his perfect righteousness in their place. The apostle Paul says, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

A name says something about someone. “The Lord, our righteousness” is a name that could only fit one person. Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again to be our righteousness. Now when you trust in him you are given another name. Like the bride who takes the name of her husband, believers take the name of their Savior Jesus—”righteous.” This name gives us hope and assures us of our eternal future of peace and safety with him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for being my righteousness and for taking my sin upon yourself. Help me to always find hope in your perfect life and innocent death in my place. 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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