More than Marketing – June 9, 2019

When the day of Pentecost came, [the disciples] were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:1-4

More than Marketing


Daily Devotion – June 9, 2019

Devotion based on Acts 2:1-4

See series: Devotions

You’re starting up a new restaurant. How do you get business? You let your community know that they have a need (they get hungry); there is a solution (food) and you have the best solution in town (your barbeque beats everyone else’s). Perhaps you hand out free samples at the fair, entice people with coupons or specials, and you hope that word of mouth drives hungry customers your way.

God was starting his New Testament Church. Jesus had died, risen, and ascended to heaven. Now what? How would God gather people into his Church? Through his disciples, he let the people of Jerusalem know that they had a need (for God to forgive their sins) and that there was a solution (Jesus had died for their sins). This was not just a slick ad campaign. Free forgiveness, peace with God, and eternal life through Jesus beat any other deal in the world.

Have you ever marveled that God has delivered this same message to you? You have a need (for God to forgive your sins against him) and there is a solution (Jesus has died for your sins). The same Holy Spirit who filled the first disciples works through the message of forgiveness to give and grow your faith. God continues to build his Church just as he did all those years ago—by the power of his Spirit working through his word.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, my sin means I have the greatest need—I need a Savior from sin; I need Jesus. Work powerfully through your Word to bring me to daily repentance and free forgiveness. Move my heart and my tongue to thank and honor God with all that I do and say. 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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Clean – June 8, 2019

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may . . . go through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:14

Clean


Daily Devotion – June 8, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 22:14

See series: Devotions

If you ask people who have traveled around the world, “What is the cleanest city you have ever seen?” many of them will answer, “Singapore.” If you go there, however, you’d better understand that the governing authorities take their city’s cleanliness seriously—very seriously.

For instance, Orchard Road is the most famous shopping street in Singapore. Tens of thousands mingle there every day. However, hidden in the crowd are some 400 plainclothes officers. Their sole job is to catch people doing something that may threaten their city’s cleanliness. If they spot you dropping a piece of paper, they can fine you hundreds of dollars. If you are a repeat offender, it can cost you thousands. In addition, they may also sentence you to several hours of community service and require you to attend lectures on littering. In short, if you find yourself in Singapore, enjoy the wonderful sights, friendly people, and cleanliness. But if you make a mistake and litter, your stay may come at a cost.

Life in heaven comes at a cost as well. But the cost is not money or a lecture on littering. The cost is the precious blood of the Son of God. The Lord’s desire for us to be with him was so intense that he himself was willing to pay the price to make it so. And now it is his blood that has washed our sins away and made all things right. It is his blood that has given us the privilege to go through the gates into the city of heaven.

But in that city, there is not just an absence of the rubbish of sin. Rather, there is complete life, light, goodness, and joy. All because Jesus is there. All because he has made us clean.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you have washed my robes and made me clean. Through faith in you, heaven awaits. Oh, how I look forward to that day! 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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Payday – June 7, 2019

[Jesus said] “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me.”
Revelation 22:12

Payday


Daily Devotion – June 7, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 22:12

See series: Devotions

Imagine for a minute that you have to do a terrible job for a year. Maybe the work is hard. Maybe it’s high-stress. Maybe the work is far from rewarding. Now imagine you are told you will be paid just fifteen thousand dollars for this year of work. How do you suppose you will do your job? Will you be excited? Will you be motivated to do your best? Probably not. You will be tempted to show up late and give it little effort. You may not even make it through the entire year before quitting.

Now imagine you are facing the same job, but this time you know you will be paid fifteen million dollars. Now, how will you do your job? Your attitude will likely be very different. You will show up on time, be excited, and even brag about how great this job is that pays so well.

Like a terrible job, our life in this world is often difficult. But Jesus promises that when this world ends, he will return and bring with him a reward far greater than fifteen million dollars. He promises to bring us to the mansions of heaven and an eternity without a single care or concern. Remarkably, he promises to give us this as a reward even though it is a reward, he won for us. Think of how comforting this is! It means we don’t have to worry whether we will be good enough to earn his reward. It means we don’t have to wonder whether we will receive his reward. He promises to give us the reward he has earned.

Let this be your encouragement during difficult days. Let it move you to serve your Lord with joy and excitement. Let it keep you from ever quitting. After all, a remarkable reward is on the way!

Prayer:
With everything that is happening in our busy world keep me focused on your return and the reward you will bring. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Jesus is Coming Soon – June 6, 2019

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Revelation 22:20

Jesus is Coming Soon


Daily Devotion – June 6, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 22:20

See series: Devotions

“Did he forget?” I had this thought a few times as a child as I waited for my dad to pick me up from school. Most days dad was there when school got out and although I had to wait for his turn to pull up to the curb, I was sure I was getting picked up. However, on rare occasions dad wasn’t there right away. I watched as the number of kids standing at the curb dwindled. I wondered what could have happened. Had my father forgotten and would he ever show up?

Fortunately, without fail, he always showed up, usually just a few minutes after all the other parents had picked up their children, I would crawl into the backseat of his car and with exasperation ask, “What were you doing?” My dad would always respond, “Coming to get you.”

It has been just shy of two thousand years since Jesus said, “I am coming soon.” It is easy to wonder if Jesus has forgotten his promise and to ask what is taking him so long.

But, much like time is different to an anxious child than to an adult, time is different for us than it is for God. The Bible tells us that, for God, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. The God who lives without beginning or end has a longer and better view of time than we do.

We also know that when God makes a promise, he keeps it. He does not forget. He does not change his mind.

So, we can know for certain that Jesus will come soon. He promised it. He will come soon to take us from this life to our eternal home and the life we were meant to live. Even now we know at this very hour, he is coming to take us to be with him.

Prayer:
Help me to wait patiently on your good timing, and give me the sure confidence that you will return soon. 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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Wish You Were Here – June 5, 2019

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
John 17:24

Wish You Were Here


Daily Devotion – June 5, 2019

Devotion based on John 17:24

See series: Devotions

Taking a vacation away from the hectic pace and pressures of daily life is precious indeed. When you are enjoying such a relaxing time away from home and work, you might stop by a gift shop and see the postcard rack with a number of images that capture the fun and enjoyment you are having, and your friends back home aren’t. Across the front are printed the words, “Wish you were here!” Not that you are serious about your friends or other family members joining you on your vacation, but the card is meant to rub it in that you are enjoying a great vacation, while others are going on with the grind of life.

Can you imagine if God sent you a message from heaven which said, “Wish you were here?” but really was just “rubbing it in.” That you had to still endure a world filled with hardship, tragedy, and suffering. Quite the opposite! As Jesus prayed, he said, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am.” Jesus has a heartfelt desire for you. He absolutely wants you to join him in heaven. Yet he doesn’t just wish it, but also provided the means to get there. He sends you an “all-expense paid ticket” which he personally paid for with his perfect life, his suffering and death, and glorious resurrection. There’s nothing more that you have to do or pay to get it; it’s a free gift by faith in him.

When life gets challenging, we oftentimes think of our favorite vacation spot and “wish we were there.” Today Jesus is inviting you, in the midst of whatever life brings you, to look forward to the eternity in heaven he has paid for you to enjoy. Through him don’t just wish you were there, but definitely look forward to actually being there!

Prayer:
Savior Jesus, by what you accomplished through your death and resurrection, I am confident that I will live with you forever in heaven and see your great glory. Strengthen and sustain me now while I wait for you to come and take me where you are. 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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Coheirs – June 4, 2019

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. . . Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
John 17:22,25,26

Coheirs


Daily Devotion – June 4, 2019

Devotion based on John 17:22,25,26

See series: Devotions

What do you have in common with Jesus? At first you might say, “Not much.” You have never turned water into wine or walked on water. No angels announced your birth and crowds of people don’t follow you to hear you teach. However, a closer look might reveal that you have more in common than you first thought.

Jesus says that he gave you the same glory that God the Father gave him. While you don’t have the glory of the crowds or the miracles, you do have the same glory of being coheirs of eternal life with Jesus. You and Jesus have the same story with the same ending. Like Jesus you will live on this earth and there will be ups and downs, but God will use it all to get you to heaven with Jesus, forever.

Jesus also says that you have something that sets you apart from the rest of the world: you know the Father. Jesus says the world doesn’t understand who the Father is, but he knows. Those who share the belief that the Father sent Jesus also know the Father.

Finally, Jesus says you share the love of the Father. It is this love that forgives your sins and guarantees you a place in heaven. It is the love that a perfect Father in heaven has for his perfect Son and that love is shared with you. The Father gives this love to you through his Son that you may also know what it is like to be his child.

What do you have in common with Jesus? All the things that matter most.

Prayer:
Jesus, by winning salvation you made me a coheir of eternal life. Help me to better know you that I may better know the Father. 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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Jesus Prayer – June 3, 2019

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
John 17:20,21

Jesus Prayer


Daily Devotion – June 3, 2019

Devotion based on John 17:20,21

See series: Devotions

If you want a list of things people really care about, you probably only need to look at their prayer list. The things that cause people to bow their heads and turn to the throne of God are some of the most personal and important things in their lives. They are the names of the people they love and the situations that pains their hearts. These are the things they think about the most and are overwhelmingly grateful for.

This is what makes it so remarkable that you and I are on Jesus’ prayer list. In fact, you were on his prayer list two thousand years ago. The night before his death, Jesus took the time to pray for you. Even knowing all that he was about to face that night―betrayal, abandonment, abuse of every kind―Jesus made sure that you were on his prayer list. This was no one-time occurrence either. The Bible tells us that Jesus is in heaven right now remembering you. He is speaking your name, remembering you to his heavenly Father.

Jesus prays for you because he loves you. You are the most important thing in the world to him. Your pain, pains his heart. Your eternal good is his highest desire. He prays for you because he knows you, has forgiven all your sins, and you are his dear child. For all these reasons and more you are on Jesus’ prayer list.

The next time you pray through your prayer list, remember that Jesus prays for you because he cares for you.

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for praying for me. Continue to remember me in your prayers until I see you face to face. 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 Washing – June 2, 2019

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life.
Revelation 22:14

The Washing


Daily Devotion – June 2, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 22:14

See series: Devotions

In his Civil War book, Glory Road, author Bruce Catton demonstrates how dirty a human being can get. He recounts an episode in which a soldier leaves a prisoner-of-war camp to rejoin his old unit. His time as a POW had left him filthy beyond description. He asks his comrades to help him get clean. They take him into a river, strip off his clothes, and begin to wash and scrub. Only after this continues for awhile do the men realize that he is still wearing an undershirt. The man’s body had become so encrusted it had been impossible at first to tell the difference between a soiled piece of clothing and his own skin.

The soiling nature of sin does the same thing. From the dark thoughts we allow to fester in our minds to all the deeds of love conveniently left undone, sin does more than leave a dirty streak here and there on our souls. It makes us spiritually filthy beyond description. Left to ourselves, our hearts are so encrusted by sin that it’s impossible for us to see how lost we really are.

That’s where Jesus comes in. We didn’t see how lost we were or how far we had fallen. But he did. He took us to the river of his grace. He washed us in the waters of Baptism. He cleansed us in the blood he shed on Calvary’s cross. Now we stand before him in robes of white. Through faith in him, his forgiveness is our personal possession.

There are moments when the same old dirt from the same old sinful habits can fill us with despair. When such a moment comes for you, remember who you are and what Jesus has done. He has gone to the cross to wash you clean. He has risen from death to assure you that not one of your sins remain. Through his eyes your life is fresh, clean, and new. Your days as a filthy prisoner are long gone.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, in those moments when I stumble and the stench of my old sinful habits fills the air, remind me of the washing I have in you. Fill me with your peace. Empower me to get back up and to walk again with 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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Source of Light – June 1, 2019

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
Revelation 21:23

Source of Light


Daily Devotion – June 1, 2019

Devotion based on Revelation 21:23

See series: Devotions

The man was desperate to build a fire. You could see the worry on his face and hear the strain in his voice. He was tired and cold. But his campfire would not light because even the dead leaves, he gathered were too wet to burn. And nighttime had already come.

The History Channel ran a series that featured 10 men left to fend for themselves on the northwestern corner of Vancouver Island. The northwestern corner of Vancouver Island is pure wilderness. Massive trees and brush are everywhere. It’s crawling with cougars, wolves, and bears. And it’s wet. It receives more rainfall per year than any other place in the Northern Hemisphere. Every man there had survival training, but each was on his own, as each was isolated from the others by miles. The question posed by the series was simple. How long could each man last before giving up?

One thing became clear. Without a fire—without a source of light and warmth—the darkness, cold, and wild animals that surrounded them became too much. Without a source of light, they would not last.

The same holds true for you and me—your soul and mine. Without a source of light, the darkness and cold that surround us in this broken world becomes too much. Without a source of light, we are lost.

Enter Jesus, the Light of the World. He pierced the darkness of our sin. Through his death on the cross he went to the source of our darkness and destroyed it. Then he rose from the darkness of his tomb. And now, through faith in him, you and I can bask in the light of his forgiveness.

But here’s what we need to remember. When the rains come, when the storms blow, when the troubles of life pour down on us in sheets, the source of our light will not go out. Because the source of our light is Jesus.

In Jesus you are secure, warm, and safe. So breathe easy. And sleep well.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you are my light. In your forgiveness and grace I am warm and safe. Thank 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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Turn from Empty Promises – May 31, 2019

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:27

Turn from Empty Promises


Daily Devotion – May 31, 2019

Devotion based on John 14:27

See series: Devotions

There is an old saying, “Promises are like pie crusts; they are easily made and easily broken.”

We are surrounded by promises given by others. We are also committed by the promises we make. What every promise shares is the responsibility to keep it. There is also the reality that many promises are broken. Hence, the proverb.

We rely on promises which is why we are disappointed when they are broken. The promised family outing is usurped by work. The promised gift is put on hold because of lack of funds. The promised change of a bad habit is broken because it is not easily overcome.

There is one promise which stands apart from every other promise, and from the proverb. It was not easily made, and it will never be broken. It is the promise Jesus gives. He promises peace—peace with our God and peace with our own consciences. The blood he shed washed away our sin and guilt. So, there is nothing for God to be angry about and nothing for us to feel guilty about. We are at peace.

Jesus’ promise stands unbroken because he is the ever-faithful God. He perfectly accomplished everything he promised to do. Furthermore, we can rely on his promise because he has given us a blood-signed guarantee. In his crucifixion, death, and resurrection we have his lasting testimony that we are at peace.

What a blessing! Because of Jesus’ faithful and unbroken promise, we can be confident and courageous, even when every other promise fails.

Prayer:
O gracious Savior, you know how much I rely on your promises. Remove every temptation, every uncertainty, and every doubt which would make me question your faithfulness. Then, through your never-failing promise give me peace, courage, and confidence. 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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