Equally Valuable – September 23, 2019

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
James 2:1-4

Equally Valuable


Daily Devotion – September 23, 2019

Devotion based on James 2:1-4

See series: Devotions

How would you react if you were in the situation that James describes in today’s Bible passage? An obviously wealthy person and a homeless person both walk into the place where you are. It is your job to greet them and make them feel welcome. How will you do that? Will you view them both equally? Or will you value the wealthy person more than you value the homeless person? And will the subjective value you place on each person affect how you treat each of them?

None of us like to admit it, but we all are guilty of assigning value to people based on wholly external factors. We value those with wealth more than we value those without it. We prefer to be with people we believe will bring us some benefit rather than being with people who might need our help. It’s bad enough that we make these distinctions in our minds. But rarely does this favoritism remain hidden inside us. It’s very difficult for us to treat people equally when we don’t value them equally.

How thankful we can be that Jesus never showed favoritism! Jesus never valued one person more than he valued another. He loved (and loves) all people equally, and that includes each of us. In fact, Jesus loved and valued each of us so much that he willingly lived, suffered, and died for us all without distinction. As we see how Jesus loved and valued each of us equally, we are equipped to love and value others in the same way. And we will see that all people are equally valuable because Jesus loves them all.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, help me always to love and value all people equally, just as you do. 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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BULLETIN- September 22nd, 2019- The 15th Sunday after Pentecost

The 15th Sunday after Pentecost

September 22, 2019

Emmanuel & St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church

Mecan & Montello, WI

St. John’s  Ev. Lutheran Church 313 East Montello St. Montello, WI 53949 Emmanuel  Ev. Lutheran Church W1568 Evergreen Lane Montello, WI 53949    

  Pastor Peter Zietlow  

 

608.297.2866 www.stjohnsmontello.org Like us on Facebook
XW E L C O M E    T O    O U R    C H U R C H X 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 in 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. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more, as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). Welcome to God’s house!  May God bless our worship together.  
XG O D ’ S     W O R D    F O R     T O D A Y X “Hey, that’s my seat!”  School children get in fights day after day, arguing over their special place.  Adults look and laugh, and yet we  do the same in life when we take pains to assure that we get what’s coming to us – at work, at home, among friends and family – and that everybody sees and knows how important we are.  But in these lessons we are reminded that our King is coming, the Almighty Ruler of the universe, Jesus Christ, next to whom, because of sin, we are nothing and deserve the lowest place.  But, because of His love for us, Jesus invites us to the place of honor.      

 

XP R A Y E R     B E F O R E     W O R S H I P X O Lord Jesus Christ, preserve this congregation of believers with your never-failing mercy.  Help us avoid whatever is wicked and harmful and guide us in the way that leads to our salvation.  Through your Holy Word and by your Holy Spirit, come to us, forgive our sins, and cause our faith to grow in strength and productivity–so that, with your help, we produce many fruits of faith pleasing to you.  Bless our worship today, in Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen    

 

XP R E P A R A T I O N   F O R   W O R S H I P X

We prepare ourselves to worship the one Savior God by expressing our humble repentance, offering our fervent prayers and singing our thankful hymns of praise.

OPENING HYMN 478                                                        With the Lord Begin Your Task

Please stand

CONFESSION OF SINS                                                                                              hymnal page 38

We confess to God that we have failed to live up to the perfect standards in his

law, and we plead for his mercy.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF FORGIVENESS                                                                   hymnal page 38

The pastor announces the forgiveness of sins won for us by the perfect life and innocent sufferings and death of Jesus, our Savior.

OH TASTE AND SEE                                                                                                                             hymnal page 39

This paraphrase of Psalm 34:8 reminds us of how sweet the good news of salvation is for Christians. Those who take refuge in Jesus, our Good Shepherd, are blessed.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

M: Almighty God, your Son our Savior was taken up in glory and intercedes for us at your right hand. Through your living and abiding Word, give us hearts to know him and faith to follow where he has gone; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C: Amen.

Please be seated for the day’s Scripture readings

XT H E   W O R D X

The Lord Jesus speaks to us in Scripture reading, preaching and song.

FIRST LESSON                                                                                                                                  Proverbs 25: 6, 7

Summary: Humility is appropriate for Christians

Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do not claim a place among great men; it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,” than for him to humiliate you before a nobleman.

PSALM 119a                                                                                                                                                hymnal page 109

Men sing first line, women sing second line and all sing refrains and Gloria.

SECOND LESSON                                                                                                                             Hebrews 13:1-8

Summary: A humble Christian loves people and uses money

Keep on loving each other as brothers.  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” {Deut. 31:6}  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?” {Psalm118:6,7}

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

VERSE OF THE DAY                                                                                                               Jeremiah 15:16

Alleluia. Your words became a joy to me, and the delight of my heart. Alleluia.

C: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! These words are written that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!                            

Please stand

GOSPEL LESSON                                                                                    Luke 14:1, 7-14  (today’s sermon text)

Summary: Jesus pictures true humility and generosity

One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched.

When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.  If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, `Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.  But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, `Friend, move up to a better place.’  Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.  But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.  Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

C: Praise be to you, O Christ!                                   

Please be seated

HYMN OF THE DAY 454                                                                        I Gave My Life for Thee

SERMON                                                                                                                        Luke 14:1, 7-14

“Jesus’ Lesson on Attitude Adjustment”

Let’s learn:

  1. Genuine humility
  2. Unselfish  charity

Please stand

APOSTLES’ CREED                                                                                       hymnal page 41

Please be seated

X O F F E R I N G S   O F   G I F T S   &   P R A Y E R S X

THE OFFERING

The ushers now gather the “Thank-Offering.”  Members of this congregation show their thanks to God for all he has done for them by returning a portion of their income to the Lord.  Through these free will offerings, this congregation and its ministries are maintained.  Guests need not feel obligated to contribute. Please also sign our Friendship Registers and greet one another.

PRAYERS

The Offering Prayer, Befriend a Mission Prayer and Intercessory Prayers are spoken by pastor. Please see announcements for those on our Intercessory Prayers list (pg. 8).

Please stand

LORD’S PRAYER                                                                                                                                       hymnal page 43

Please be seated

HYMN 439:1-2                                                                                        Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me

Please stand

CLOSING PRAYER & BLESSING                                                                           hymnal page 43, 44

Please be seated

CLOSING HYMN 439:3                                                                                 Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me

As you leave today’s service, please give your completed Friendship Register sheet to an usher or pastor.

XAnnouncements X

Activities for the week of September 22-September 28
Sun. 8:00 A.M. Emmanuel Worship
  8:30 A.M. St. John’s Sunday School
  9:00 A.M. SJ Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
  10:00 A.M. St. John’s Worship
  11:00 A.M. St. John’s Welcome Home phone tree meeting
Mon. 6:30 P.M. Choir at St. John’s
  7:30 P.M. Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
Tues. 6:30 P.M. Men’s Bible Study at St. John’s
  6:30 P.M. St. John’s Evangelism meeting
Wed. 8:00 A.M. St. John’s School Chapel
  10:00 A.M. Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
  1:40 P.M. St. John’s School/Little Lambs Early Release
  2:15 P.M. Public School Teen Confirmation Class at St. John’s
  6:30 P.M. St. John’s Worship
  7:30 P.M. Bible Information Class begins at St. John’s 
Thurs. 8:00 A.M. St. John’s School Confirmation Class
  10:00 A.M. Montello Care Center Devotion with communion
  6:00 P.M. Griefshare at St. John’s lower level (4 of 13 weeks)
  6:30 P.M. Preschool Family Night at St. John’s
Fri. 8:00 A.M. 7th/8th Grade Visitation at WLA
Sat.    
Theme for Next Sunday September 29 , 2019 Pentecost 16: “Be Wise! Know the Lord and Know Yourself” 316NOW Mission Festival w/ guest pastor Jim Kleist
8:00 A.M. 316NOW Mission Festival Worship at Emmanuel
8:30 P.M. St. John’s Sunday School
9:00 P.M. St. John’s Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
10:00 A.M. 316NOW Mission Festival Worship at St. John’s
11:15 A.M. 316NOW Mission Festival Lunch and Presentation at St. John’s

INTERCESSORY PRAYERS – For those hospitalized, ill, shut-in and facing trials: Ron Blada, Liola Crown & son Terry, Agnes Dassow, Reinold Eckelberg, Lilah Farrell, Xzander Jahr, Chris Krause (Gordy and Linda’s son), Earl “Pete” Laun, Robert Lederer (Jackie and Jeanne Buchholz’ father), Delvin Mittelsteadt, Mark and Peggy Russell (Elsa’s son and daughter in-law), Doris Smith, Jennifer Strauss, Karl Whitrock, Shirley Wilkens – (added this week: )

– For Dustin Loveland and Melanie Shadel who were united in marriage on 9/14

– For submission to God’s will

– For those straying from the church

SAVE THE DATE FOR WELCOME HOME SUNDAY: OCTOBER 13TH

Worshiping our God—listening to him speak to us in his Word and responding with our praise—is always special. However, it can be especially joyful when the house is packed. Think of the singing on Christmas Eve… or the way we need to set up chairs on Easter Sunday. Yet, even on those days, we have members who are out of town.

The goal of Welcome Home Sunday is to have a day when everyone that is part of our Christian family comes together. After all, church is supposed to be a home, and believers are kin. Our focus of worship on this day is the blessing of Christian community. Thus, we want 100% of our members there.

Please do everything possible to set that date aside so that we can pack the house that day. Following the 10:00a.m. St. John’s service, breakfast will be served in the lower level of church.

PLEASE JOIN FAMILY AND FRIENDS AS WE CELEBRATE WITH A PARTY IN HONOR OF BETH JOHNSON’S 90TH BIRTHDAY Saturday, September 28th from 1:00-4:00pm Open House, Location: Senior Dome 140 Lake Ct. Montello, WI (Behind Fire Station) No gifts please.

CHOIR Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. – Psalm 30:4. If you love to sing, please consider joining the joint choir of St. John’s and Emmanuel. Choir practices are Monday evenings for just an hour at 6:30. Please contact Lynn Sellnow if you are interested in joining the choir, or if you have questions. 

SUNDAY BIBLE STUDY We begin to gather by 9am and are ready to go by 9:15am. “They” were watching Jesus. We need to be be watching him too! How? Why? 

MEN’S BIBLE STUDY Faith is not a good feeling you have. Faith is not the cause of but the result of Truth. Faith says “Yes” when everything else says “No.” This week we will look at the faith of Abel. What made him a hero? Tuesday, 6:30pm. Church basement. Men – about 15 other guys would love to have you join them!

ACTS–ACTIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH THE GOSPEL IN THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH Adult Bible Study meets Monday at 7:30pm & Wednesday at 10am in the St. John’s conference room.  

NEW LIFE IN CHRIST Bible Information Class (leads to membership) is at 7:30pm in the St. John’s conference room (alternate times may also be scheduled).

ST. JOHN’S CHURCH DOORS To keep updated on the St. John’s Church Door Project, check out the bulletin board located in the Information Room at St. John’s. The given donation did not cover the full cost of our new doors so donations are still accepted to help offset the remaining cost.

FRIENDSHIP REGISTERS Please complete the friendship register page each week. This helps your pastor and other church leaders stay in touch and keep contact information up to date. Thanks!

GRIEFSHARE The 13-week session of Griefshare has begun. Sessions are held at 6:00p.m. in the lower level of St. John’s. Join us for week #4, September 26.  If you have any questions or concerns, please call Mark Emond (608) 697-1600.

CHILDREN’S CHURCH BAGS Please help yourself to the bags that are hung on the tree in St. John’s Information Room at St. John’s and entry way at Emmanel. Please return them after each service.

ACH What is ACH? Automated Clearing House is an electronic payments network use by individuals, businesses, financial institutions and government organizations. The network functions as an efficient, electronic alternative to paper checks. It allows funds to be electronically debited or credited to a checking account, savings account, financial institution general ledger account or credited to a loan account. Please pick your form up in the Information Room or the office and get started today!

FORWARD IN CHRIST Please do not turn in any past Forward in Christ magazines as we no longer accept them due to the personal information that is provided inside. Thanks!

MEDITATIONS New “Meditations” WELS daily devotional booklets are available in the church entry (many thanks to our generous members for donating!)

CHRISTIAN ONE-LINERS (from a WELS pastor):  “Forbidden fruits create many jams.”

SCHOLASTIC BOOKFAIR St. John’s is looking for an individual(s) who would want to run the Scholastic Book Fair. This has been a big success for our school and students in the past and we would love to continue this. Call the office if you or someone you know is interested!

EASTER FOR KIDS COORDINATOR WANTED If you, or someone you know, are interested please contact Linda Wachholz 608-369-2635. Linda is willing to train!

FALL MISSION OFFERINGS ARE BEING COLLECTED DURING SEPTEMBER  Please use the collection container where you are a member:  in the church entrance both at Emmanuel and at St. John’s. Home Mission-Outreach to Asians and World Mission-Ukraine Project will benefit. Offerings are welcome from anyone with a heart for missions!  DEADLINE:  Sunday, September 29.

HAVE YOU ENTERED THE LWMS TRIVIA CONTEST OR VISITED THE BE-A- FRIEND TREE AT THE LINKWAY DISPLAY at St. John’s?  The women of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society (LWMS) thank you for supporting WELS missions!!

316NOW MISSION FESTIVAL ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 Learn about the ministry committed to proclaiming grace across China NOW.  Special Freewill Offering for 316NOW at both services. Guest speaker is one of the administrators of this ministry. Schedule for the day:

   8:00 a.m.            Emmanuel Mission Festival service

   9:30 a.m.            Learn about 316NOW’s Sheep to Lambs Initiative (school classroom)

   10:00 a.m.          St. John’s Mission Festival service

   11:15 a.m.            Luncheon in St. John’s lower level for EVERYONE!  (Freewill Offering)

   12:00 noon        316NOW power point presentation by guest speaker..come learn more!

FALL SERVICE

PROJECT FOR PERIDOT-OUR SAVIOR LUTHERAN SCHOOL IN APACHELAND The women of the LWMS invite our church families to help us 1) collect 4 items for Peridot: crayons, markers, pencils, & glue sticks.  2) collect monetary donations to help Peridot purchase Scholastic books.  Collection containers at each church.  Your help is appreciated!  We will collect through Sunday, October 13.

BE A FRIEND!  God tells us in Proverbs 17:17a that “A friend loves at all times.”  This week would YOU be a friend and share God’s love & encouragement by sending a card/note/email to these WELS missionaries.  It would mean a great deal to:

Pastor Bradley & Susan Wright

c/o Risen Savior Ev. Lutheran Church

1685 Lexington Avenue

Mansfield, OH 44907

Email:  pastorbradwright@gmail.com

Beaver Dam Circuit FALL RALLY

of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society

Saturday, October 19, 2019

9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

at Zion-Columbus (Co-hosts St. John-Doylestown)

Speakers:  Pastor Dennis & Nancy Meier

“The Light of the Gospel Continues Shining in the Desert”

(125 Years of Apacheland Mission History)

Carpooling Signup in the Information Room at St. John’s

Attendance Emmanuel St. John’s
9-15                                     9-18 95                                        157                                       5   
St. John’s Altar Committee September 2019 Diane Eisermann & Delores Cotte
●●● Welcome To Our Visitors! Please Sign Our Guest Register Find & Like us on Facebook Visit our website link:  www.stjohnsmontello.org Pastor Peter Zietlow: (608) 408-7830 E-mail: zietlowPL6@hotmail.com Little Lambs Director & Teacher Mrs. Lynn Sellnow: 616-826-0816 K, 1st & 2nd Grade Teacher Ms. Shelley Myers: 920-285-7554 3rd-5th Grade Teacher Ms. Rachel Naumann: (847) 913-2135 Principal & 6th – 8th Grade Teacher Mr. Larry Sellnow:  616-822-6689 Church & School Secretary Ciara Neuhauser: (608) 297-2866 Altar Ladies: Elaine Kelm: (920) 344-0025 & Carolyn Rosenthal: 589-5036 Church & School Address/Mail: 313 E Montello St, Montello, WI 53949  Church & School E-mail: scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org ●●●
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Self-Promotion – September 22, 2019

Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do not claim a place among great men; it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,” than for him to humiliate you before a nobleman.
Proverbs 25:6,7

Self-Promotion


Daily Devotion – September 22, 2019

Devotion based on Proverbs 25:6,7

See series: Devotions

Do you want to get ahead in life? Here’s the advice of Stanford University business professor Jeffrey Pfeffer: “Leaders are not modest, and more importantly, the extensive social science research on narcissism [and] self-promotion . . . shows that these qualities and behaviors are useful for getting hired, achieving promotions, keeping one’s job, and obtaining a higher salary.” In other words, if you want to get ahead in life, let everyone know how great you are. Trumpet your accomplishments. Place yourself among those who are recognized to be the greatest. And make it seem unthinkable that anyone would consider you unworthy of being in that position.

Greatness for a follower of Jesus is very different from greatness as the world defines it. Worldly greatness is all about promoting yourself and having others serve you. Greatness in Jesus’ Kingdom is all about taking attention away from ourselves and selflessly serving others.

Jesus, of course, is the perfect example of such selfless service. Jesus’ entire life was not about promoting himself, even though he was the Son of God. His life was about serving us by keeping God’s law perfectly in our place and dying on the cross to pay for our sins. Jesus’ greatness came through his service to us, and in his humble service, he was exalted.

By his humble service, Jesus has also exalted us. We who believe in him are great, but not because of who we are or anything we have accomplished. We are great because in Jesus God has made us his dearly loved children. Regardless of how the world may see us, in God’s eyes, we are kings and queens. And we who have been exalted by God have no need to seek to promote ourselves.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for humbling yourself so that I might be exalted. Help me always to find my greatness in 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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A Different Kind of Mountain – September 21, 2019

[You] have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.
Hebrews 12:22

A Different Kind of Mountain


Daily Devotion – September 21, 2019

Devotion based on Hebrews 12:22

See series: Devotions

No doubt you’ve seen pictures or video of Mount Everest. Its beauty is stunning. And its height—nearly 6 miles above sea level—makes it the highest mountain in the world. It’s the stuff of legend.

That much you know. What you may not know is that Mount Everest is littered with bodies.

Over the years, about 4,000 people have tried to climb Mount Everest. Almost 200 of them have died in the attempt. The terrain is so extreme near the summit, however, that it’s simply impossible to recover many of the bodies. And so they remain on the mountain to this day.

It’s a sobering thought: A mountain littered with scores of people who gave their lives for a fleeting moment of glory.

The Lord introduces us to a different kind of mountain—”Mount Zion,” he calls it. The heavenly Jerusalem. The city of the living God. Here there is only one person who gave his life. His name was Jesus. Only he didn’t do it for a moment of glory. He did it to wash us clean of every sin. He did it to give us eternal life.

And now he lives. And because he does, Mount Zion is ours. And not just for a moment. Because Jesus lives, Mount Zion—HEAVEN—is ours forever.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, you died to wash me clean. And now you live again. Because you do, Mount Zion is mine. Keep me from every forgetting, or taking for granted, what I have through 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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Welcome Home Kick-Off Sunday 10/13

The Welcome Home initiative is an attempt to address the challenge of members drifting away from church. Learn more from the video below.

Welcome Home Video

“Welcome Home” will kick-off Sunday 10/13 with a special service, sermon and a free breakfast served after the 10am service in the St. John’s church basement.  More “Welcome Home” services will continue through November.

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Eternal Regret and Eternal Rejoicing – September 20, 2019

“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from the east and west and north and south and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
Luke 13:28,29

Eternal Regret and Eternal Rejoicing


Daily Devotion – September 20, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 13:28,29

See series: Devotions

There are many misconceptions about hell. False ideas are all over television, social media, and the internet. Some will say that hell is not a real place. Others argue that it is a place reserved only for the terribly bad people and most of us don’t have to worry about it. A recent Twitter discussion argued that hell will be a lot more fun than heaven. Some will even say that hell is an invention of the church made up to scare people into doing what the church tells them.

In Luke, chapter thirteen, Jesus tells us the truth about this awful place. Contrary to what many in this world believe, there is a hell and people can end up there. Hell will not be a big party. Jesus says, “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth.” Scripture is clear about the intense pain, suffering, and torment that those in hell will experience. But, the worst part of hell won’t be the heat, pain, or suffering. The worst part will be the eternal regret of knowing that you had a chance to believe in Jesus and chose not to.

Thankfully, those who believe in Jesus will never have to worry about that. There will be a large crowd of people going to heaven. “People will come from east and west and north and south and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.” Through faith in Jesus, we will never have to face eternal suffering in hell. Rather, through his life, death, and resurrection, we will be with him forever in his kingdom, enjoying all that heaven has to offer.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for winning heaven for me. Help me to keep my eyes focused on the heavenly goal. Help me encourage others to put their faith in 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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Follow The Narrow Road – September 19, 2019

[Jesus] said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”
Luke 13:24

Follow The Narrow Road


Daily Devotion – September 19, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 13:24

See series: Devotions

My family and I recently went on a vacation and found ourselves on a highway that was seven lanes across. And those were just the lanes going in our direction! That many lanes and cars can be overwhelming. Knowing when to exit is key because you must make plans to get over to the correct lane in time. The flow of that much traffic moving at high speeds can be very difficult to navigate across.

That’s how life is for the Christian too. Jesus tells us that the door to heaven is narrow. Life flows so swiftly before us and so many people are not looking to exit on the narrow road. We can get swept up in the materialism and greed of our society. We can get pulled along by the sports-crazy culture. We can get caught up trying to pass the guy ahead of us at work. All the while, we find ourselves moving with the traffic and we have taken our eyes off our exit. If we aren’t careful, we will speed down the highway that leads away from God and our heavenly home.

So, we want to keep our eyes open and be aware of what the world around us is steering us toward. We want to turn on the “GPS” of God’s Word and read and listen to it daily. We want to continue to learn more and more about our Savior Jesus, who is the only way to heaven. After all, only Jesus lived, died, and rose again to give us the gift of eternal life.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, keep my eyes and my faith focused on you, so that I do not get swept along by the ways of this world. 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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God Will Deliver You – September 18, 2019

The LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred.
Judges 7:7

God Will Deliver You


Daily Devotion – September 18, 2019

Devotion based on Judges 7:7

See series: Devotions

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you ever feel like things have gotten away from you? Like the odds are stacked against you? Imagine how Gideon felt as he watched God strip away his army. The troops were whittled down from 32,000 to just 300 men. A strong, confident fighting force was reduced to a small band of soldiers. Did he feel hopeless? Helpless? Worried? Panicked? Afraid for his life? Gideon was left in a spot where the only thing he could do was trust in God to deliver him.

Perhaps God has led you to a similar spot. Maybe it is the upcoming surgery that has you feeling helpless. Maybe it is the loss of a job or a move to a new city that has your family panicked and worried. Maybe life has just beaten you down that you feel so hopeless and don’t know where to turn. Our enemy, the devil, uses these situations to tempt us to blame, doubt, or even get angry at God.

Jesus sure had those moments throughout his life too. Imagine what he could have been feeling as he dragged that cross up the hill to the spot where he was going to be nailed to it. Yet, through it all, even as he was suffering and dying for you and me, Jesus trusted in his Father to deliver him. And he did! Jesus has risen, ascended into heaven, and is ruling all things for our good.

So if you find yourself in a spot like Gideon, don’t panic. Instead, realize what a good place that is to be! It is an opportunity to trust him! And, you can be sure that, in his own way and in his own time, he will deliver you.

Prayer:
Dear God, help me to lean on you always. Help me to trust in your deliverance. 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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Give God the Glory – September 17, 2019

The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’”
Judges 7:2

Give God the Glory


Daily Devotion – September 17, 2019

Devotion based on Judges 7:2

See series: Devotions

Giannis Antetokounmpo recently won the NBA Most Valuable Player award. For Milwaukee Bucks’ fans, this was especially great to see. The “Greek Freak” amazed basketball fans all year with his ball-handling skills, powerful slam dunks, and all-out effort. At just under 7 feet tall and 242 pounds, Giannis is just about unstoppable. And so, when he took the stage to give his acceptance speech, you may be surprised to hear the first thing he said: “I want to thank God for blessing me with this amazing talent.” He went on to thank God three times before saying anything else.

It is refreshing to hear someone give God credit rather than boasting about his own abilities. Boasting about ourselves is a strong temptation. But, think of what happens when we do. We take credit away from God. We forget who is ultimately responsible for anything we accomplish.

God knew this would be a temptation for Gideon and his men. So, he said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’” Boasting is a strong temptation.

And never is boasting a more serious sin than when we are tempted to think that our own strength saves us from hell and earns us heaven. This is why the devil is constantly trying to convince us that we can get to God on our own. He knows that if we trust in ourselves, rather than in Jesus, we will never get to God. Only Jesus’ perfect life and innocent death could do that. It is his gift to us, not something we earn. Remember this the next time you are tempted to think you are good enough for God. Remember the story of Gideon and give God the glory for your salvation.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, help me always to realize that I cannot be saved by my own strength. Help me always to look to you for salvation. 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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God is Everything You Need – September 16, 2019

The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men.”
Judges 7:2

God is Everything You Need


Daily Devotion -September 16, 2019

Devotion based on Judges 7:2

See series: Devotions

On the sixth of June this year, the world recognized the seventy-fifth anniversary of the D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy. It was the largest seaborne invasion in history. And it is widely viewed as the key turning point in World War II. Even seventy-five years later, the world thanks the men and women who sacrificed to make that day happen. On that day alone, the Allied Armies landed one-hundred-fifty-six-thousand troops on the beaches of France. That doesn’t even count the pilots and Navy personnel who participated.

Can you imagine General Eisenhower the morning of the invasion? Can you picture him surveying all the troops, tanks, boats, and planes, and concluding that he didn’t need them all? Can you imagine him sending half of the Army home and telling the Air Force pilots to take the day off? No, he realized he needed every soldier at his disposal. He knew that his chances of success hinged on the sheer number of people that he could get onto those beaches.

God is not your usual commander. He told Gideon: “You have too many men.” You see, God doesn’t need all the latest technology or weapons. He doesn’t need large armies at his disposal. He is all-powerful. He wanted Gideon to know this. So, even though Gideon’s army was already far smaller than his opponent, God told him he had too many men. Having so many men might make Gideon think that his victory was his own doing rather than God’s.

It is a good reminder for us. We so easily rely on our own strength, our own wisdom, our own abilities. Or, we doubt that God can handle whatever we are facing.

When this happens, remember the story of Gideon. Remember that your God is all-powerful. So powerful, in fact, that he defeated two enemies you could never defeat—sin and death. Through Jesus death and resurrection, your sins are forgiven, and eternal life is yours.

Let this be your comfort no matter what foe you face.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, help me to trust you and only you for everything I need. 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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