Determined to Save – February 28, 2019

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
Luke 13:31-35

Determined to Save


Daily Devotion – February 28, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 13:31-35

See series: Devotions

A young man gets bullied by a classmate at school. It seems that every day this bully finds a new way to humiliate him. But then one day the tables turn. As he walks down the hallway, he sees the bully getting bullied. He is faced with a choice: either come to the defense of the bully or don’t. Does that bully deserve the help that young man could give? We might be inclined to say no. It seems like the bully is finally getting what’s coming to him. He’s getting his just desserts.

It’s a concept that has grown popular today: karma. “What goes around comes around.” If you do something bad, something bad should happen to you in turn. If you hurt someone, you should be hurt. People should get what they deserve.

But that is not how the Son of God operates. In Luke 13, we see Christ’s familiar foes, the Pharisees, telling him how Herod wanted to see him dead. Was there truth in their words? Maybe. But that didn’t deter Jesus from doing the work he came to earth to do. He would continue to teach people God’s truth, no matter who opposed him. He would continue his work as the promised Savior, even though his very own people would reject him. Why? Because he was determined to save.

When Jesus would go to Jerusalem, he would die, and he would do it not just for people who believed him. He would die on the cross for every sinner. He would die for the Pharisees. He would die for Herod. He would die for all people. That means he died for you too. We don’t deserve God’s grace. We don’t deserve what Jesus did for us. But that didn’t deter him. The Bible says that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Jesus forgives your every sin. By that same grace, God gives you heaven through faith in Christ. Thanks be to God that our Lord Jesus was determined to save us!

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, I’m a sinner and don’t deserve anything from you. But you still died on the cross for me to save me from sin and death. Increase my faith in you. Keep me from rejecting your grace. Make me a grateful recipient of your love so that I may be yours forever. Amen.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Do not Shoot the Messenger – February 27, 2019

Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and all the people, “This man should be sentenced to death because he has prophesied against this city. You have heard it with your own ears!” Then Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people: “The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the things you have heard. Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right. Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.”
Jeremiah 26:11-15

Do not Shoot the Messenger


Daily Devotion – February 27, 2019

Devotion based on Jeremiah 26:11-15

See series: Devotions

In William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Antony and Cleopatra,” a messenger brings unwelcome news to the queen of Egypt: her beloved Antony had married Octavia. Beside herself with rage, Cleopatra lashes out at the hapless message-bearer, threatening to scalp and blind him. He wards off her blows crying out, “Gracious madam, I that do bring the news made not the match.” He reminds Cleopatra that he was not responsible for Antony and Octavia’s union; he’s only there to tell her about it. Today he might have used the common phrase: Don’t shoot the messenger!

A number of the Old Testament prophets were persecuted and mistreated simply because their audience didn’t want to hear what they had to say. But their message was not their own–it came from God himself. No one likes to hear that they are in the wrong, much less that they are going to suffer punishment as a result of their indiscretion. And so we are tempted to get angry with the pastor or fellow Christian who points out our sin and calls us to repentance. We act as if somehow our guilt only appears when it is spoken aloud, as if we had not brought the shame down upon our own heads through our sinful behavior.

The messenger that God sends to point out your sin has another follow-up message to share with you too: God sent his Son to take your sin and its punishment upon himself. Your guilt has been placed on the cross of Jesus who has atoned for it with his own lifeblood. God’s messengers point out the disease of sin so that they can also proclaim its cure: faith in Jesus Christ our Savior. If you reject the first half of the message, you discard the second as well. So listen carefully to all rebukes from God’s messengers, repent of all wrongs you’ve committed, and rejoice in the forgiveness which is yours in Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord God, let me never close my ears to those who bring your word to 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The End of Guilt – February 26, 2019

“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Acts 10:42-43

The End of Guilt


Daily Devotion – February 26, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 10:42-43

See series: Devotions

Jesus’ message about Judgment Day was simple: “Watch out that no one deceives you.” and “see to it that you are not alarmed” (Matthew 24:4,6).

Peter had not forgotten this warning. Once we knew that “Jesus is the Lord of all,” we also realize that he has the right to judge all. Old Testament visions (Daniel 7:9-14) reveal this truth about Jesus, the Lord of all. Jesus says, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left” (Matthew 25:31-33).

Peter witnessed to Cornelius that they both would stand in front of this Jesus on the last day because “Jesus is the Lord of all.” That’s why Jesus commanded Peter “to preach to the people and testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.”

God reassured our sin-filled parents that the seed of the woman [Jesus] would crush the devil’s power. Jesus’ death brought to Cornelius, his family and “everyone who believes in him,” the end of guilt through the forgiveness of sins. The dying Lamb of God “takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). That means that we who have put our trust in Jesus do not need to fear Judgment Day because we know the Judge. We know his mercy and his love for the whole world.

We know that we and all who trust the words and promises of the Bible will enter heaven together. We know that in heaven we will see “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.” Look closely! By God’s grace you will see Cornelius and his family, and they will see you!

Prayer:
Gracious Holy Spirit, reassure us and give us the peace of forgiveness in Christ so that we never fear Judgment Day, but long for the appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Chosen by God – February 25, 2019

While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”
Luke 9:34-35

Chosen by God


Daily Devotion – February 25, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 9:34-35

See series: Devotions

“I think God will let me into heaven.” This was Tom’s response to his friend John’s question. He assured John that while he was not perfect, God would certainly choose him before others who were worse than him. John responded to his friend’s false sense of security, “I really don’t think God would agree with you.”

The difference between Tom and John was that Tom looked to what he had done to merit God’s choice, whereas John looked to Jesus and what he did to make him worthy.

As I look at myself, how would I answer the question, “Why should God choose to let me into heaven?” Would I review my good works to convince the Lord that I am worthy of his choice? Would I remind God how much better I am compared to other people? Or, would I plead that God should overlook my shortcomings and faults? If I try to rely on what I do to merit God’s choice, I will be disappointed, because there is no way I can convince God to choose me based on the record of what I’ve done.

There is only one hope for me, as well as for every sinner. In a bold and gracious proclamation, God the Father revealed where that hope is found. His words comfort my aching heart and bring peace to my desperate soul: “This is my Son, whom I have chosen.”

With these words the Lord turns the focus away from me and places it on his Son. Jesus is not only God’s Son from all eternity, he is also the one chosen by the Father to secure forgiveness and peace for all. When I put my confidence in Jesus and the precious work he accomplished, the results are staggering. No longer am I God’s enemy. No longer am I rejected because of my failures or inadequacies. No longer am I doomed to be separated from him for eternity. In Jesus, God has washed away my sin and made me acceptable in his sight.

So, why should God choose to let me into heaven? There is only one sure answer, and that is Jesus Christ. Through him alone I stand chosen and worthy of life in heaven.

Prayer:
O blessed God and Lord, there is nothing I could do to stand worthy or acceptable in your sight. Through Jesus and his precious work, you have cleansed me and chosen me to receive life in heaven. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Choose Your Battles – February 24, 2019

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:12-13

Choose Your Battles


Daily Devotion – February 24, 2019

Devotion based on Ephesians 6:12-13

See series: Devotions

I knew parents once who had a helpful philosophy for raising their children. The rule of thumb around the house was “everything is negotiable, except the Ten Commandments.” The point was to avoid unnecessary wrangling over issues that did not involve sin. If their son wanted to wear an earring or have a rattail haircut for example, it was not a sin to do so. Despite a parent’s personal distaste for earrings on boys and unusual haircuts, they left the issue “negotiable.”

The Ten Commandments reveal sin. They do not save us from sin, but they do make us aware of our sin. We face a real, spiritual battle. The apostle Paul wrote, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood.” When we are battling the “powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” we have to know that we are fighting for our souls. We are fighting against sin.

Satan’s business is to drag people down into the darkness of sin and unbelief. Because of that, we have to choose our battles. We have to fight, not against each other, but against sin. We have to fight in such a way as to win the battle and finally enjoy victory forever. Therefore, put on the full armor of God. We could enumerate all the pieces of armor at our disposal or we can say simply, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:11).

Jesus’ mighty power is the power to save us from our sins. He lived not to show us how we should look on the outside, but on the inside to have the holiness and perfection that our Savior freely gives us. Jesus died, not to forgive unusual haircuts or questionable fashion sense. He died to take away real sins, real violations of the holy will of God. Jesus lived, fought, died, and rose in a winning battle against the darkness of sin, death, hell, and Satan.

Put on Jesus in faith and you will have put on the full armor of God.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, remove my sin, surround me with your holiness and give me the victory over the spiritual forces of evil, now and forever. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Keep It Simple – February 23, 2019

“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
Matthew 5:37

Keep It Simple


Daily Devotion – February 23, 2019

Devotion based on Matthew 5:37

See series: Devotions

Stan had a problem with the truth. It wasn’t that he was a blatant liar. He just had a problem with embellishments and exaggerations. As a result, people were skeptical about everything he said.

On one occasion Stan actually told the unvarnished truth. While he assured his hearers there were no exaggerations, he couldn’t convince them. To offer some assurance he added, “with God as my witness,” to his testimony. Even then people were still slow to accept he was trustworthy. He finally resorted to taking an oath, “cross my heart and hope to die!”

Stan’s problem can be mine. I color the truth to fit my needs. I rely on “white lies” to avoid accusations. I even call on God to serve as my witness. But what am I really doing with my words?

The moment I ask God to be my witness, I am inviting him to be the judge of all I say. I also permit his just judgment if I mishandle the truth. The effects of such an invitation could be disastrous. What if God would decide to strike me dead as soon as I didn’t tell the truth?

This is why Jesus’ lesson is so relevant. Not only does he say, “keep it simple,” he further adds that I should be a person who delights in and relies on the truth.

Certainly telling the simple truth is a challenge, because my heart is full of lies. I am also easily swayed by the devil who is the author of every lie. I can only overcome this propensity to lie when I rely on Jesus to make me a person who delights in being truthful.

During his earthly ministry Jesus established and proclaimed the truth. It convicted. It convinced. It converted. Along with the truth, his innocent death and shed blood washed away every stain and stigma of my lying nature. His blood cleansed my heart. It also purified the words of my mouth.

It is only because of Jesus I can be truthful in all things. It is also only because of Jesus I can keep all my conversations simply “yes” and “no.”

Prayer:
O Jesus, overcome the deceitfulness of my words with your truth. Replace the sinful weakness of my heart with your strength. Fill me with joy in speaking what is simple and pure. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Citizenship to Treasure – February 22, 2019

Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:17-20

A Citizenship to Treasure


Daily Devotion – February 22, 2019

Devotion based on Philippians 3:17-20

See series: Devotions

Roman army vets had retired to the Greek colony of Philippi. The Roman government gave these vets in Philippi special privileges because of their army service. The Roman government could not tax them directly. Their city government was run by Roman law. As Roman citizens they could not be punished without a fair trial. The vets were so thankful they dressed like Romans, they spoke Latin, and they lived like Romans. They were citizens of Rome, even though they lived in Philippi.

Paul reminded the Christians in Philippi of their even greater citizenship. Because of Jesus’ service, Christians are citizens of heaven. Jesus won our citizenship by completing his 33-year tour of duty as our Savior. He followed every rule and obeyed every command God gave him. He also “threw himself” on the cross to redeem us as a people belonging to him.

By faith we have a citizenship with more privileges than Roman citizenship. We belong to a King who hears and answers our prayers, who works in all things for the good of those who love him, who will deliver us from this evil world and take us to himself in heaven.

It’s a citizenship to treasure. But Paul warned the believers that some lived only for this world. Their goals were to make more money, have more fun, enjoy more pleasure, go on longer vacations, become more important at work. They were turning their backs on the Savior who sacrificed his life to earn for them the rights of citizens of heaven. Their path was leading to eternal destruction.

What are we living for? Do we prize the pleasures and recognition of this world, chasing them at the cost of our life with God? Or are we proud and grateful for the citizenship Jesus has given us? Do we treasure his gifts of forgiveness, undeserved love, peace, joy?

Prayer:
Jesus, forgive my sins. Forgive my living for this life instead of living for heaven. Thank you for making me a citizen of heaven despite my sin. Thank you for daily forgiving me all I have done wrong. Keep my eyes and my heart focused on the home you won 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Problem of Darkness – February 21, 2019

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6

The Problem of Darkness


Daily Devotion – February 21, 2019

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 4:6

See series: Devotions

In 2007, a man by the name of Adam Bloom agreed to take part in an experiment. Scientists took him to an underground bunker. From there they led him to a small bedroom the size of a prison cell. The room contained microphones and infrared cameras. After Adam walked in, the scientists closed the door and turned off the lights. The lights would not come back on for 48 hours. And so, in a tiny cell of this underground bunker, Adam Bloom would experience total, pitch-black darkness for two full days.

At first, Adam didn’t think it would be so bad. He led a hectic lifestyle, and the idea of spending two days in total darkness did not seem like the worst thing in the world. But that soon changed.

To keep himself occupied he tried talking out loud, but he soon tired of that. Quickly he began to lose track of time. Whenever he awoke from sleep, he could no longer determine how many hours—or minutes—had passed. Then the fear began to set in. Even though he and the scientists had been preparing for months, he began to wonder: Had they all gone away? Was he trapped there forever? Finally he began to hallucinate, his mind creating its own images in the absence of seeing anything else. He even started to lose his own sense of identity.

When humanity chose to cut itself off from God, it plunged itself into a chasm of pitch-black darkness. In our sinful madness we thought we would find freedom. But we found nothing of the kind. Instead, in the absence of God’s light, there began a swirling nightmare of unreality. Fear set in. Disorientation. Dead ends. Confusion. Even our own sense of identity began to fall apart.

But then, into our chasm of darkness, there came the Light of the World. God sent his Son to retrieve us from the nightmare we had created. In our place, Jesus lived the life of light that our darkened lives could no longer live. Then, on our behalf, Jesus went to the cross to experience the outer darkness of hell, all to pay the price for our sins—all to pay the price for our sins in full.

And now he lives. He lives as the Light. And because he lives, our nightmare is over. Fear has given way to joy. Anxiety has given way to gratitude and sweet relief. Bitter confusion has given way to the clear confidence of God’s love for us in his Son.

By the way, Adam Bloom says that, when he left that underground bunker, he realized how vivid and beautiful the world of light truly is. Through faith in Jesus, you and I can say the same thing.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when darkness threatens to cloud my thoughts, fill me with your light. 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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His Victory – February 20, 2019

Then you shall declare before the LORD your God: “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, subjecting us to hard labor. Then we cried out to the LORD, the God of our ancestors, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, LORD, have given me.” Place the basket before the LORD your God and bow down before him.
Deuteronomy 26:5-10

His Victory


Daily Devotion – February 20, 2019

Devotion based on Deuteronomy 26:5-10

See series: Devotions

After accomplishing some great success in life, perhaps you have been given the counsel: “Don’t rest on your laurels.” A sign of victory in ancient times was to wear a wreath made of laurel leaves as a kind of crown. To rest on your laurels, then, means to be so satisfied with your past achievements that you make no further effort to improve. Such a person basks in the glow of glory years gone by.

When the people of Israel entered into the Promised Land after wandering in the wilderness, they would be tempted to “rest on their laurels.” After years of suffering, they had found success. They had journeyed to a land “flowing with milk and honey” with rich soil that produced abundant crops. But Moses reminded them that the laurel wreath of victory was not theirs to wear. The Israelites, descendants of Abraham, owed everything they had to the Lord, the God of their fathers. When they were helpless, the Lord had saved them from slavery and had led them safely to this new land. By all rights, the Lord deserved their thanks and praise.

Can Christians be tempted to rest on their laurels? After all, we believers have been promised an eternal home in heaven. As God’s children we have the privilege of going to him in prayer. By his grace we even see some successes in our struggles with sin and may have been able to resist temptations that have been the ruin of others around us. But no, the crown of victory does not rightly belong to us. We sinners could never earn peace with God ourselves. It was won by Christ Jesus the Son of God, who with his outstretched arms on the cross defeated sin, death, and the devil for us. He gives salvation as a gift to all sinners through faith. We rest secure on Jesus’ laurels—his victory—rather than our own. And responding to such a Savior in faith and gratitude, we bring the firstfruits of godly living, setting apart for him the best of our resources, our schedule, and our heart.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you used your mighty power to win me back from death and the devil. Let all my thinking, speaking, and doing this day reflect your great love 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Necessary – February 19, 2019

The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.
1 Corinthians 8:2

Necessary


Daily Devotion – February 19, 2019

Devotion based on 1 Corinthians 8:2

See series: Devotions

Several years ago, a high school in Port Huron, MI, needed a commencement speaker for its spring graduation. The school decided to invite businessman Ross Perot. Mr. Perot accepted. As a result, what the senior class received that year was a commencement address few of them would soon forget.

Not far into the speech, Mr. Perot made it clear that he had a deep concern about a certain portion of the graduating class. His concern, however, was not about those who had to struggle to get through school. Nor was his concern necessarily about those who had certain disadvantages or difficulties. Rather, his deep concern was about those in the class who had sailed through their four years of high school with straight A’s.

In many cases, Mr. Perot told them, “you don’t know what it is to strive, fail, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again and again; and, finally, never to win a medal but just finish the race.” Because that segment of the class had not yet tasted that bitter but necessary slice of life, Mr. Perot was telling them that even though they knew many things, here was one vital thing they did not yet know.

God’s Word has a similar thought for you and me, but the thought is even more profound. It’s easy for us to picture the devil at work when we encounter setbacks or failure or grief. What may not often occur to us is what the devil can do when we experience success. Satan can use even the head-rush of achievement to lessen our appreciation for God’s grace. Satan can use that moment of victory to distract us from God’s undeserved love for us in Jesus Christ.

Keep that in mind when the Lord chooses to allow disappointment and failure into your life. His goal is not to give you an unbroken chain of success stories. Rather, it is to do whatever is necessary to keep you close to him. After all, he died for you. He loves you that much.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I ask you to carry out great things to your glory through my life. I also ask you to do what is necessary to keep me close to 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, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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