A Win Win Situation – July 5, 2019

[David said] “To you, LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: ‘What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me; LORD, be my help.’”
Psalm 30:8-10

A Win Win Situation


Daily Devotion – July 5, 2019

Devotion based on Psalm 30:8-10

See series: Devotions

Death can make us feel like the ultimate losers. As David puts it, “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit?” It seems as if going into the grave is the ultimate loss.

And for those who do not know Jesus as their Savior, that’s true. When they die, they are separated from God and all of his blessings forever. That’s the ultimate, eternal loss.

But when believers in Jesus die, they go to heaven! That’s the ultimate victory! So, for the believer, what looks to be “loss” becomes the ultimate “win.”

Does this mean that this life is unimportant? Not at all! In Psalm 30, David asks, “Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?” Well, to the human eye, no: dead people don’t praise God here, dead people don’t proclaim God’s faithfulness here. People who are alive do that. And that makes this life oh-so-valuable.

And so, for the believer in Jesus, it’s always a win-win. If I die, I go to heaven. That’s the ultimate victory. But if God chooses to extend my life here, that’s winning too, because I get the chance to know him better, and the chance to tell others about him.

It’s a win-win!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, remind me that you’ve blessed me with a win-win situation. Lead me to take advantage of my time on this side of eternity to bring blessings to others! Then take me home to heaven, giving me the ultimate victory. 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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Where is God – July 4, 2019

They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.”
Luke 7:16

Where is God


Daily Devotion – July 4, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 7:16

See series: Devotions

“Where is God?” I wonder if the mother may have asked this question, or something similar, when her child died. Obviously, we don’t know, but it’s the type of question we humans ask. “Does God really care for me?” “If God is really love, why does he allow bad things to happen?” Maybe we don’t ask it out loud, but perhaps those sorts of ideas hover on the periphery of our thoughts.

So, where is God? This text reminds us that God came to this earth. Yes, he really, physically, actually came to this earth. Because he did so, he really understands our challenges, our joys, our struggles, our hopes and dreams. And why did he come? God came to help his people. God came to help you!

And so, be filled with awe. God cared so much about you that he came to this earth. He was willing to eat our food, breathe our air, joy our joys, sorrow our sorrows, and die our death—all to give us the spiritual, eternal help we needed. God has come to help his people! God has come to help you!

Prayer:
Remind me, O God, that you came to help me, and that you continue to help me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Crazy Talk – July 3, 2019

Then [Jesus] went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
Luke 7:14,15

Crazy Talk


Daily Devotion – July 3, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 7:14,15

See series: Devotions

“Young man I say to you, get up.” What do you suppose went through people’s heads when Jesus said this? I wonder if it went something like this: “What? He’s talking to a dead man! And he’s telling him to get up? What kind of nonsense is this?” Might there even have been some anger? After all, wouldn’t this have sounded borderline cruel for the grieving mother?

Now, what do you suppose went through people’s heads when the young man sat up and began to talk. Oh my! Imagine how their thinking must have changed when they realized Jesus had the power to make this happen! This wasn’t crazy talk; this was power talk!

Our God has a habit of saying things which, to our sinful reason, sound “crazy.” He says, “Take and eat, this is my body . . . take and drink, this is my blood.” It sounds crazy—but it’s true because God has the power to make it happen. To think that in baptism God miraculously works faith in the heart, even in the heart of an infant, sounds crazy. But it happens, because God has the power to make it happen. The idea that God can really make ALL things work together for good sounds crazy. But God has the power to make it happen.

So thank God! Even when what God says sounds “crazy” to our sinful ears, God has the power to make it happen!

Prayer:
God, lead me to listen to and trust your powerful, empowering words. 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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Do Not Cry – July 2, 2019

Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
Luke 7:11-13

Do Not Cry


Daily Devotion – July 2, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 7:11-13

See series: Devotions

Don’t cry! Are you kidding me? The young man was dead. He was his mother’s only son. She was a widow. This was heartbreaking.

To more fully appreciate the sadness of this event, in Jesus’ day there was no social safety net. In general, widows were taken care of by their children. We don’t know if there were daughters, but the feel of the text seems to be that this was an only child. And Jesus says, “Don’t cry.” Wow! It almost seems harsh, doesn’t it?

Is it okay for us to cry, particularly in regard to the death of a loved one? Sure, it is. Even Jesus wept at the grave of his good friend, Lazarus. Death is—and will always remain—the wages of sin. Death forces us to see the reality of sin oh-so-clearly, including the reality of our own sin, and how much we deserve God’s judgment. Yes, that can lead us to cry.

And yet Jesus’ words can apply to us, too. Yes, Jesus can say to us, “don’t cry.” Why? Because he cares for us. Because ultimately life is in his hands. And, most importantly, because he has the ultimate answer to death—his resurrection and the promise of the resurrection of those who follow him.

So, yes, cry when death separates you from a loved one. But then hear Jesus say with a gentle, caring smile, “Don’t cry, my dear child, don’t cry.”

Prayer:
O Savior, dry my tears! 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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An Aching Heart – July 1, 2019

Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
Luke 7:11-13

An Aching Heart


Daily Devotion – July 1, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 7:11-13

See series: Devotions

Have you ever felt so sad about something that your stomach churned, that your insides hurt? I’d guess most of us have had that feeling somewhere along the way.

That’s the thought of the Greek word translated, “his heart went out to her.” In other words, as Jesus viewed this funeral procession, his stomach churned, his insides ached. He cared that much!

And don’t forget the reality: Jesus is God. And so, we are led to an amazing truth—God cares for us humans in an amazingly powerful way. God cares for us humans so much that his insides can hurt as he sees our hurts.

It is absolutely true that God is all-powerful. It is totally true that God rules all things, that he is far superior to anything and everything in the universe!

But it is also true that our God has a heart which cares oh-so-deeply for us humans. What an amazing combination! We have a God who is all-powerful… and who cares for you and me. Take comfort in this truth this day.

Prayer:
Remind me, O God, that your heart aches 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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