Danger of Sharing the Gospel – September 26, 2018

Because the LORD revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree and its fruit; let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.”
Jeremiah 11:18-19

Danger of Sharing the Gospel


Daily Devotion – September 26, 2018

Devotion based on Jeremiah 11:18-19

See series: Devotions

On August 15, 2015, a Christian pastor in India was abducted from his home by anti-Christian forces. They had warned him on four previous occasions to stop sharing the gospel. He refused. Family members found his body the next day. Shortly after that, the family buried their beloved son, husband, father, and brother, saying goodbye to a man who only wanted to share the love of God in Christ Jesus our Savior. In an interview with a Christian organization, the wife of the slain pastor wept as she told a reporter, “I am happy that my husband…died for Christ. He is in heaven. I am happy with that. I cannot lose the faith. I am still faithful. God forgive them. I forgive the person who did all of this.”

The prophet Jeremiah could relate to the danger this pastor faced because he was in danger for much the same reason. God sent him to proclaim a message of severe warning to his Old Testament people who had turned away from the Lord to worship idols. Naturally, Jeremiah’s message enraged the people and they didn’t want to hear it; in fact, they were plotting to kill him.

Most of us have never faced the possibility of death for the privilege of sharing God’s Word, but that message is still despised and those who share it are still hated by the unbelieving world we live in. Should that stop us? Of course not! It didn’t stop Jesus. His love for all people moved him to risk and sacrifice everything—even himself—to establish the way of salvation for us.

That pastor in India knew the love of Christ. He shared the gospel of salvation with his people even though he was in great danger. He prayed that some would hear and believe God’s saving message and he took the risk. God’s love filled him with love for his people.

Jeremiah continued to proclaim God’s Word for the same reason. And so should we.

Prayer:
Dearest Savior, may your love for us fill us with love for all people and make us willing to share the good news of salvation no matter what the risk. 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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Wisdom – September 25, 2018

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
James 3:13-18

Wisdom


Daily Devotion – September 25, 2018

Devotion based on James 3:13-18

See series: Devotions

“Who is wise and understanding among you?” Well, that depends on your definition or standard of wisdom.

Are you wise?

There is a kind of wisdom that is fueled by selfish ambition and bitter envy. Such wisdom wants to get ahead in life; it wants to fulfill its desires at whatever cost. It is willing to deny the truth to do so, even to the point of resorting to evil practices. Though it leaves a trail of disorder in its wake, it boasts of the great things it has accomplished. The Bible calls this earthly wisdom. It also calls it unspiritual, even of the devil. It is wisdom which is characterized chiefly by a selfish focus on me.

There is, however, another kind of wisdom. It is never willing to sacrifice the truth; it is pure. Rather than seeking to get ahead of others, it is peace-loving and considerate. Rather than striving for personal gain, it is submissive and full of mercy. Instead of resorting to evil, it bears good fruit; it is impartial and sincere. Such wisdom has no room for boasting; it is full of humility. The Bible calls this heavenly wisdom. It points out that it produces a harvest of righteousness. It is wisdom that is characterized chiefly by a loving focus on others.

Are you wise?

As you fight the temptation to be me-focused and strive to lovingly focus on others, remember where true wisdom comes from. It comes not from within or below. It comes from above, from God. It comes from the One who was and is wisdom personified. It comes from the Savior who never sinfully focused on himself and always lovingly focused on the spiritual and eternal welfare of others. Remember that this wisdom is revealed in and fueled by the gospel.

“Who is wise and understanding among you?” The one who knows and trusts and walks with Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord God, forgive me for the times I have embraced earthly wisdom and left behind me a trail littered with hurt and hardship. With eyes focused on you and others, may my faith shine as I pursue and practice heavenly wisdom. 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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Jesus Our Greatness – September 24, 2018

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Mark 9:35-37

Jesus Our Greatness


Daily Devotion – September 24, 2018

Devotion based on Mark 9:35-37

See series: Devotions

Children are adorable. They can say hilarious things and have endearing antics. But often children can be seen as the least of us. On the one hand they are helpless. They rely on adults for shelter, clothing, and food but yet have little ability to help adults provide for them. On the other hand, they can be extremely self-centered.

The disciples had been quite childlike. They were helpless, failed to recognize their helplessness, and were acting quite self-centered. Jesus had shown them their helplessness when he had warned them that he was going to be killed and was going to rise from the dead. They didn’t get what he meant, so instead they found something else to talk about—their own self-centeredness—or as they saw it their own greatness. And so, the disciples argued and argued until Jesus asked them, “What are you arguing about?” And maybe quieted by embarrassment, they had nothing to say.

As much as we hate to admit it, we are childlike too. We often fail to see our own helplessness. You may think that if you do some good here and there that God will send some good things your way. Maybe you think that you have earned every single thing that you have been given without realizing you could lose it all in an instant. You may fail to see your own helplessness because you, like the disciples, try to focus on how great of a person you are.

Jesus says that true greatness is letting go of self-centeredness and pride by understanding your own helplessness. Greatness comes through Jesus’ cross. He handed himself over for you so that he would die for your self-centeredness and vanity. He is the one who conquered death and defines greatness in his life and death for you.

Doesn’t this move you to care for those who do not seem as great or deserving? If Jesus thinks you are great, then you can humble yourself without losing value. If Jesus thinks those who are least deserving are great, then you can care for those you think do not deserve it.

When children are self-centered, be patient. When children are helpless, continue to care. Encourage them and show them love. Jesus says you receive him because he cares for all those who are least deserving.

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for humbling yourself for me and going to the cross to die for me. Because of your death and resurrection, you are great. Help me to understand my own need for you and empower me to serve those who are least deserving. 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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More than Fair – September 23, 2018

“But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’”
Matthew 20:13-15

More than Fair


Daily Devotion – September 23, 2018

Devotion based on Matthew 20:13-15

See series: Devotions

Some people might argue that God isn’t fair. He doesn’t punish quickly enough. He doesn’t punish severely enough. He even allows bad things to happen to good people. God’s fairness is also questioned when it comes to people entering heaven. It doesn’t seem fair that some people are excluded.

While I might be tempted to think God is unfair, I need to remember the truth which Jesus teaches. God is more than fair.

Jesus’ parable of the workers in the field (Matthew 20:1-16) reveals God’s goodness and his mercy. The landowner, who is the Lord, graciously calls many to come into his field. Some are there for a long time. Others are there only for a short time. At the final accounting, the Lord gives everyone what he promised. Unfortunately, the fairness and the generosity of the Lord is called into question.

The landowner’s response is critical: “Are you envious because I am generous?” The parable addressed the jealousy of the descendants of Abraham who assumed they deserved more from the Lord. The Lord’s answer gave them a completely different perspective, and it becomes a valuable lesson for me when I harbor doubts about the Lord’s fairness.

While I may be tempted to think I deserve more from the Lord, I need to start with what I actually deserve. I should be punished, rejected, and separated from God forever. My sin is the reason why God should have turned away from me. God’s love, however, brought about a different response. Through the sacrificial work of Jesus, as well as through the substitution of his righteousness for my lack thereof, I am saved. If God were fair, none of this would have happened. Instead, God would judge me and sentence me to eternal punishment.

Through his wonderful love the Lord leads me to rejoice in my rescue and the promise of heaven. It also leads me to rejoice that God offers the same rescue and promise of heaven to all people. He wants all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. This is more than fair. It is grace.

Prayer:
O gracious Lord, you have poured out your grace into my life. Bless me through the work of the Holy Spirit so that I acknowledge your love, rejoice in your love, and daily grow through your love. 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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Remembering What We Have – September 22, 2018

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Philippians 1:27

Remembering What We Have


Daily Devotion – September 22, 2018

Devotion based on Philippians 1:27

See series: Devotions

There’s a story of a child who seemed apathetic about everything. He was reckless. He was careless. He didn’t work hard. His life seemed to have no purpose or direction. That all changed when a group of people decided to sit down with him and have a talk. This group of people revealed to him something he had not previously understood. They revealed that, one day, by succession, he would become the leader of their country. From that moment on, that young man’s life changed. He had focus, direction, and drive. Knowing that he was the one who would inherit the highest position of leadership—knowing that made all the difference in how he conducted his life.

Which brings us to the portion of God’s Word we have before us. Here’s the setting. The Christians living in the town of Philippi were facing people who were openly hostile towards them and what they believed. The apostle Paul knew that this was no time for Christians to appear apathetic or careless. Rather, this was a time for focus, direction, and seriousness of purpose. In light of this, the Holy Spirit moved Paul to say this to the Philippian Christians, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Paul wanted them to remember what they possessed in Jesus. He wanted them to understand that the message of the gospel is the most profound truth that the world will ever know. For this reason, he called on them to proclaim with their lives how priceless and supreme the gospel really is.

In our sinful weakness, you and I often forget this. In a world filled with active opposition to Christianity, you and I often lapse into carelessness. There are times when you and I can appear indifferent or apathetic. There are times we don’t even show up. In doing so we fail our Lord and we fail to live his gospel and proclaim it.

But Paul wants us to remember. He wants us to remember how God became one of us to live and die as our Substitute. He wants us to remember the full forgiveness we have through faith in what Christ has done. He wants us to remember that Jesus lives to embrace us with his promises. He wants us to remember the crown of life that Jesus purchased for us at Calvary’s cross.

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ,” Paul says. Empowered by that gospel, you and I can begin to do just that.

Prayer:
Son of God, in love you became a human being. You became my Substitute. You died for my every sin and rose from death. Move me to proclaim your gospel with my life. 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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The Ultimate Encourager – September 21, 2018

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 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 10:24-2

The Ultimate Encourager


Daily Devotion – September 21, 2018

Devotion based on Hebrews 10:24-2

See series: Devotions

“He just found out that he’d been cut from the high school basketball team.” “She didn’t get accepted to the college she wanted”  “They knew that layoffs were coming, but they hadn’t expected their jobs to be lost.” “What a challenging health report!”

Each of us has times in life when we’re discouraged and need encouragement. God is the ultimate encourager, as he assures us that he loves us, that our sins are forgiven, that we’re on the road to heaven.

Because he’s gracious, God also gives us tangible ways to be encouraged. One of the key ways that God brings that encouragement to us is through our church-home. As we worship and study together, God encourages us, and we encourage each other.

For example, as we confess our sins together, we’re reminded that we all have the same problem. That’s encouraging; I’m not alone. As we hear the message that our sins are forgiven, we’re reminded that each of us stands before God as right, as innocent. That’s encouraging! I know what God thinks about me, what he feels about me, and that’s true for each of us gathered there. As we study the Word together, we find out how the Bible applies to our lives, and how it has applied to the lives of our fellow Christians. That’s encouraging!

In fact, we encourage each other just by being there. Coming to the worship service or Bible study brings encouragement to those around us, because it says, “We are united in our belief in the true God; we treasure the same message of forgiveness; we look forward to eternal life together.” By our attendance, we give encouragement to many others. And they encourage us.

No wonder God, who loves us dearly, encourages us to not give up meeting together. As we meet together, God encourages us, and we encourage each other. And that’s just what I need!

Prayer:
O Savior God, encourage me in my walk of faith. Then use me to encourage those around 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 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Peace in Jesus Is the Real Thing – September 20, 2018

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16

Peace in Jesus Is the Real Thing


Daily Devotion – September 20, 2018

Devotion based on Colossians 3:16

See series: Devotions

In 1971 a well-known soft drink company produced a jingle which quickly became a hit song. The television ad featured young people from many different cultures on a sunny hillside in Italy singing the refrain, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.” The commercial was a huge success. Radio stations across the country received many requests for the song to be replayed. Clearly both the melody and the message resonated with people who longed for harmony among the nations.

Our world is just as chaotic today as it was in the early 70’s, if not more so. We grow tired of the constant conflict all around us. So much fighting and quarreling in the news, on the internet, at work, and in our homes. We wish there were some easy path to peace, some way to get everyone to work together toward common goals. But the human heart is naturally inclined towards selfishness and suspicion. For countless centuries we have lived in never-ending conflict. Clearly no song (or soda) alone can create true peace and unity.

When Christ Jesus calls his people to walk together in his name, he doesn’t use a gimmick or emotional manipulation to unite us. The hymns we sing as Christian congregations are not composed of empty lyrics, but lasting truths. The next time you attend worship with your fellow believers, pay close attention to the words of the songs you sing. The melodies themselves may be ancient or contemporary, the chord progressions may be familiar to you or brand new. But listen carefully to the words. Reflect on their meaning and their importance for you, for your family, for all people.

Good Christian songs will point you to the love of God in Christ which is revealed to us in the Scriptures. They recount the many blessings God continues to pour out on us: forgiveness, peace, life, salvation—all through the work of his perfect Son Jesus who came to unite us sinners with a holy God. Through his sacrifice, we have been reconciled to God and to each other. Faith in God’s promises joins us with the people sitting in the pew next to us—and to those all over the world who share a common Savior, Jesus Christ. We can’t help but blend our voices together in thanking him. Peace in Jesus is no illusion. He is the real thing.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, open my lips to sing your praises together with your people everywhere. 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 Path that Jesus Took – September 19, 2018

The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. … Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.
Isaiah 50: 5-6,10

The Path that Jesus Took


Daily Devotion – September 19, 2018

Devotion based on Isaiah 50: 5-6,10

See series: Devotions

The most notorious road in the world is the Via Dolorosa, “the Way of Sorrows.” According to tradition, it is the route Jesus took from Pilate’s hall to Calvary. You can still walk the Via Dolorosa, though the current route probably isn’t accurate. Ever since Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. and again in 135 A.D., no one knows the exact route Jesus followed that Friday. But we do know where the path actually began.

The path began, not in the court of Pilate, but in the halls of heaven. Jesus began his journey when he left his home in heaven to rescue us from sin and death.

This is a path that Jesus didn’t have to take. He could have “side-stepped” it. He could have walked away from it. He could have walked the path of glory instead of the road of suffering to Calvary. His own disciples tried to persuade him to do as much. In the Garden of Gethsemane, certainly the devil was making it clear to Jesus what he would suffer on the cross for people like Judas who would betray him, the disciples who would desert him, the chief priests and elders of the law who would taunt him, and for sinful, rebellious people like you and me. Jesus would suffer hell for people who acted like his enemies. He could have had legions of angels come down from heaven to fight for him. And at any point he could have just called it quits. But he didn’t.

Isaiah quotes our Savior: “I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.”

But why? It’s not only that Jesus suffered; it’s that he suffered willingly. Why? Because this was the only way to wash away your sin; this was the only way heaven could be your home. This amazing, loving, merciful Savior, Jesus Christ, willingly suffered for you.

Isaiah shares his thoughts on this wonderful comfort: “Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.”

Indeed. Trust in the Lord. Rely on your God. The One who loves you so much that he willingly did everything necessary for your salvation will never let you down.

Prayer:
Dearest Savior, may your willingness to suffer and die for me make me always willing to faithfully follow 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 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Faith Is Not Selfish – September 18, 2018

My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby 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? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? … If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. … What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
James 2:1-5,8-10,14-18

Faith Is Not Selfish


Daily Devotion – September 18, 2018

Devotion based on James 2:1-5,8-10,14-18

See series: Devotions

Our sinful human nature has an inborn tendency which James illustrates for us today: selfishness can raise its ugly head even among brothers and sisters in Christ. Interestingly, the two illustrations James uses have to do with how we interact with others who have much, or those who have little or nothing.

Selfish. Isn’t that what showing favoritism to the wealthy amounts to? Why would I show special attention to a man wearing fine clothes and a gold ring? It could be out of respect for the gifts and skills he has developed, for his hard work, and for a job well done. More likely, however, this special attention is sinful favoritism which is angling toward something for me. What can I get? How can I benefit? How can this work—or how can I work this—to my advantage? Such favoritism is selfish.

The same is true of empty words. Why would I tell people without clothes and food to be warm and well fed, but do nothing to address their physical needs? It could be because some circumstance got in the way, making it impossible to carry out what I fully intended to do. More likely, however, it is my sinful concern for my own comfort and ease—not wanting to be inconvenienced or have my routine disrupted. That too is selfish.

Both situations betray a sinful focus on me, and James calls me out on both accounts: “If you show favoritism, you sin …” and “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

The answer to a sinful focus on self is to look to our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. He is glorious because he was and is perfectly unselfish—in his coming, in his interaction with those who had much and those who had little or nothing, in his sacrifice of himself, and in his ongoing work as our Prophet, Priest, and King. Jesus is gloriously, unselfishly perfect.

As you navigate life’s opportunities and challenges, remember that God has chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised to those who love him. Then say thank you; show your faith by deeds that are rich in love toward others.

Prayer:
O Lord, forgive my sinful selfishness. Help me overcome the temptations to show favoritism or speak empty words. Enable me, in Christ, to be rich in love toward all. 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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More than a Man – September 17, 2018

“But what about you?” [Jesus] asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (NIV 2011)

Mark 8:29-33

More than a Man


Daily Devotion – September 17, 2018

Devotion based on Mark 8:29-33

See series: Devotions

“Who is Jesus?” and “What was his purpose?” are two key questions a reader of the Bible must be able to answer. Opinions on these questions vary widely. There are some who might say that Jesus did not exist but was merely the subject of historical fiction by some Jewish authors. Others might say he was a wise teacher of morality. Others might say he was one prophet among others like Muhammed or Buddha.

Jesus had asked his disciples who people thought he was. They reported that some thought he was just a man. Others thought he was an important prophet. But the disciples recognized there was something different about Jesus in what he was doing and how he taught. They confessed, “You are the one sent by God. You are the Lord’s anointed.”

They recognized who Jesus was, but it was that second question of what he came to do that was difficult for them to answer, and one we can struggle with too. If we just think that Jesus came to give us a set of morals to live by, to help us lead our best life now, to teach us how to raise our children, balance our bank account, or fix our marriage, then we miss the true purpose for his coming.

It is best to let Jesus describe why he came. Jesus says that he came to be rejected by the religious leaders of his day, that he be killed, and after three days rise again from the dead.

Jesus’ death and resurrection sets him apart from any individual or religious leader who came before him or who comes after him. His death and his return from death show us that he is more than a man. His death and his return from death show us that his death counted for something. Of course, when Jesus’ purpose doesn’t match up with our purpose for him, much like Peter, conflict in our hearts can arise.

Yet again, Jesus gives us an answer, “These are the concerns of God, not merely human concerns.” These are the concerns of God because he was concerned with the salvation of your soul, not just your physical life now. These are the concerns of God because he was concerned with your physical death and eternal life. These are the concerns of God because he sent his Son to die and rise again for you so that you too may rise from death and live with him forever.

Jesus is just who his Father intended him to be—more than a man. He is the Savior of our souls.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for showing us you are more than a man. Thank you for having in mind the concerns of God as you carried out your purpose. Keep us focused on you as our Savior from sin. 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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