St. Johns News

Perfect Harmony – November 12, 2018

Jesus gave [the Jews] this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
John 5:19

Perfect Harmony


Daily Devotion – November 12, 2018

Devotion based on John 5:19

See series: Devotions

Harmony is much desired but is often elusive. Wives and husbands desire it. Parents hope for it. Children yearn for it. Most people long for harmony even more than happiness. Unfortunately, harmony is shattered by selfishness, bitterness, and animosity.

Although I live in a world which lacks harmony, there is one place I can always find it. It is with God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. This is a precious gift I can never afford to ignore or take for granted.

As Jesus offered a rebuttal to the Jews who persecuted him, he offered a very simple yet profound truth. Jesus made it clear whatever the Father does the Son also does.

God is not divided. Father and Son work in perfect harmony. They are also completely united in working my rescue. Neither works independently, nor is in conflict with the other. It is because of this perfect harmony I find great comfort.

By nature, I rejected and rebelled against God. I stood opposed to his will. Yet, even though I didn’t deserve it, God reached out to rescue me.

In perfect harmony he accomplished everything required to save me. God the Father poured out his love for me in sending his Son. God the Son offered his life for me in dying on the cross. Because of the undivided purpose and perfect harmony of Father and Son, I am released from the just judgment I deserved.

It is because I enjoy the perfect harmony of the Father and Son that I need to take every opportunity to maintain it. I faithfully listen to his Word. I joyfully live in his love. I humbly walk according to his will. As I live in his grace, perfect harmony is fostered and preserved.

Prayer:
O blessed Savior, because of your faithfulness and the undeserved love of your Father, I am united with you by faith. Keep me in your grace, that I may enjoy perfect harmony with you, now and for all eternity. 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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Ready and Waiting – November 11, 2018

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’”
Matthew 25:34

Ready and Waiting


Daily Devotion – November 11, 2018

Devotion based on Matthew 25:34

See series: Devotions

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” These words not only sound a warning, they also offer practical advice. All too often a sweet deal goes sour, and what remains is the bitter after-taste of a lesson learned.

Heaven could be considered as one of those things which sound too good to be true. A place of perfect peace? A place where no sadness or pain exists? A place where only good will be enjoyed forever? While part of me longs for a place like heaven, another part remains incredulous.

While it may sound too good to be true, heaven is ready and waiting. It is the invitation given by my Lord which confirms its reality. God could never tell me to come, if heaven didn’t exist. What adds to my certainty is the way heaven is defined. It has existed before the creation of all things. So, from the very foundations of time the kingdom of heaven has been prepared by God and is waiting for me.

Even more convincing is the work of my Savior. Jesus is the one who gives me the confidence to know I will be called blessed by the Father. To be blessed by God doesn’t mean my life will suddenly become easier. Nor does it mean I will experience a heaven here on earth. What it does mean is that I will experience God’s blessing which comes through the precious life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He rescued me from the condemnation my sin deserved. He redeemed me from the bondage of hell. He even released me from the dreaded power of death and the grave. It is only through faith in Jesus that I know heaven is real, and that it is ready and waiting for me.

How blessed I am to know my Savior. How blessed I am to live every day looking forward to eternal life. How blessed I am to know heaven is ready and waiting.

Prayer:
O gracious Lord, when I am troubled, when I am weary, or when I need encouragement, come to me with your promise of life in heaven. Let your life, your death, and your resurrection be my assurance heaven is ready and waiting. 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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Judgment Will Come – November 10, 2018

“As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.”
Daniel 7:9-10

Judgment Will Come


Daily Devotion – November 10, 2018

Devotion based on Daniel 7:9-10

See series: Devotions

“Judgment will come!” Maybe the title of this devotion makes you feel that you don’t want to even continue with it. Who wants to talk about judgment? It’s not a popular idea in our day. It’s not a popular idea to us either. There’s something in us that doesn’t like the thought of being held accountable to anyone or anything. Maybe that’s why calling someone “judgmental” is one of the biggest insults you can throw at them.

But whether we like it or not, the Bible is clear. There will be a day when God will judge the living and the dead. The One who created every human being, and who formed the world and all that is in it, will judge those who have been given life and breathe and a soul. After seeing a vision of four beasts rising out of the sea, which represented the progression of different kingdoms that would rule the world, Daniel saw the Lord himself take his seat for judgment. It was an awesome picture. The Lord’s clothing and hair were gleaming white, there was fire, and thousands upon thousands of angels. But then silence. The books were opened.

It would be a terrifying vision if this is all that we had. We know our sins. We know what those books would say about us. “Guilty!” We are sinners who deserve to be sent out of God’s presence forever. Thankfully, a couple of verses later, we hear about someone else who is led into that courtroom. Daniel writes: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).

It’s Jesus! It’s the One who has nothing against him in God’s books. It’s the perfect Son of God who lived in our place on earth and who gave himself on the cross for our sins, so that our record before God is cleared. This is why he is given all authority and power in heaven and on earth. He is the Lamb who was slain for us. Yes, judgment will come. But so has Jesus, and because of him you can stand confidently before the throne of God.

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, as I await your second coming, please help me find my confidence in your perfect life and death. 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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BULLETIN- THE SECOND SUNDAY OF END TIMES LAST JUDGMENT Nov 11, 2018

ST. JOHN’S

Ev. Lutheran Church

Montello, WI

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

C:\Users\secretary\Downloads\sun_14658c.jpg

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF END TIMES

LAST JUDGMENT

NOVEMBER 11, 2015

WELCOME TO OUR CHURCH! 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 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. May God bless our worship together!

PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP Heavenly Father, I have come to worship you. Draw near to me in your gracious Word and Sacrament, and assure me of your loving kindness. Curb my wandering thoughts, that with undivided attention, I may hear your voice and sing your praise.

GOD’S WORD FOR TODAY – Jesus Will Come Back in Glory – At the end of the world, Jesus will come back in glory to judge both the living and the dead. Those who believe in him receive a verdict of “not-guilty.” Those who do not believe stand condemned to the eternal suffering of hell.

ORDER OF SERVICE–LITURGY

Service of the Word and Sacrament (hymnal page 26)

PASTOR’S GREETING

ST. JOHN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL SINGS “Child of God”, “My Knee Shall Bow” (in place of opening hymn)

CHILD OF GOD

If anybody asks you who I am,

Who I am,

Who I am,

If anybody asks you who I am,

Say that I’m a child of God.

If anybody asks you how I am,

How I am,

How I am,

If anybody asks you how I am,

Say that I’m alive and free.

If anybody asks you what that means,

What that means,

What that means,

If anybody ask you what that means,

Say that I was born again.

If anybody asks you where I’m going,

Where I’m going,

Where I’m going,

If anybody asks you where I’m going,

Say that I am going to heav’n.

If anybody asks you who’s my friend,

Who’s my friend,

Who’s my friend,

If anybody ask you who’s my friend,

Say that Jesus is his name!

MY KNEE SHALL BOW

My knee shall bow;

My tongue shall sing:

Jesus, you are Lord and King,

And wherever I go

And whatever I do,

Let my praise be unto you.

(Please stand)

LITURGY (hymnal page 26, read & sung responsively)

PRAYER OF THE DAY (pastor reads)

(Please be seated for the day’s scripture readings)

THEME FOR TODAY (11/11 END TIMES 2-VETERANS DAY): Last Judgment

OLD TESTAMENT: Malachi 4:1-3 (today’s sermon text)

Christ will appear with healing in His wings

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty.”

PSALM 90 (hymnal page 99, cantor sings the first line, congregation sings the second line, all sing refrains and Gloria)

EPISTLE: Hebrews 9:24-28

Christ will appear on the Last Day to bring salvation

For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

VERSE OF THE DAY (pastor reads)

Alleluia. “Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” Alleluia. (Matthew 24:42)

LITURGY (hymnal page 30, all sing)

“Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!…”

(Please stand)

GOSPEL: Luke 12:35-40

Christ, the Judge, will come unexpectedly. Be ready!

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

After the reading of the Gospel, all sing:

“Praise be to you, O Christ”

(Please be seated)

SERMON HYMN 208 “Great God, What Do I See and Hear”

SERMON: Malachi 4:1-3

“A Striking Symbol of the Savior: The Sun”

  1. Burning the arrogant
  2. Healing the reverent

(Please stand after the sermon)

NICENE CREED (hymnal page 31, all read)

(Please be seated)

OFFERING, WORSHIPER GREETINGS & FRIENDSHIP REGISTERS

OFFERING PRAYER

(Please stand)

VETERANS DAY PRAYER

Pastor: Everlasting Protector and Defender, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the guns of World War I went silent. To celebrate this armistice a holiday was made of this date. But, the world soon learned that the War to end all Wars did not. A series of wars followed with increased efficiency in killing. Thus the holiday was changed to honor everyone who has served in our nation’s Armed Forces. We now call it Veterans Day.

Congregation: We thank you, Lord, for our military veterans. Through them you have provided us with blessings that people around the world envy.

P: But the presence of our veterans reminds us of your warning that wars and rumors of wars will continue until the end of time.

C: In your mercy, keep war from our shores, and frustrate the plans of all those who would cause us terror.

P: Lord of the Nations, we ask that you would continue to bless our country with men and women who are willing to go to distant and dangerous places to protect us from those who would do us harm.

C: We pray that you will continue to bless us with veterans who have served faithful and true.

P: Be with our veterans as they continue their march through life. Protect them from the ambush of sin and the firepower of Satan. Give them the health and strength they need to carry out the missions in life that you have laid before them.

C: Be, Lord, their shield and strength, their guide and their rearguard. Give to them the peace that surpasses all understanding as they place their trust in Jesus.

P: When their tour of duty in the world is over, give them the order to come home. Bring them to where there are no more wars.

C: Grant unto them this blessing: when we are listening to taps being played over their grave, they may be listening to the joyous trumpet call of God and the music of heaven’s choirs. Grant this for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

INTERCESSORY PRAYERS

– For those hospitalized, ill, shut-in and facing trials: George Alexander, George Chapman, Gene & Sharon Crook, Harley & Liola Crown & son Terry, Agnes Dassow, Elaine Emond (Mark’s mother), Earl Ewert, Mike Farrell, Kellen Grucza (Judy Fandrey’s daughter), Dawn Hirn (Linda Krause’s niece), Joel Jaster, Bob Klapper (Sandy’s husband), Linda Krause, Pete Laun, Anna Madigan, Lilly Mann, LuAnn Reber, Wayne Riemer, Frankie Russell, Mark Russell (Elsa’s son), Dennis Schwanke (Mary Isberner’s friend), Amanda Stalker, Dennis & Ramona Wacholtz, Donny Weber (Betty’s son), Paul Weldon, Millie Wildt (John’s wife) – (added this week: Joel Jaster, Amanda Stalker)

– For the family of Caleb Degenstein, Mark Emond’s friend, called home on 10/31

– For Hayes Edward Buchholz, the son of Noah & Elizabeth Buchholz, who will be baptized today (11/11) at noon at Emmanuel

– For our communicants at St. John’s

LORD’S PRAYER (hymnal page 32, all read)

HOLY COMMUNION LITURGY (hymnal page 33, read & sung responsively)

DISTRIBUTION HYMN 309 “Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord”, 382 “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” (printed in hymnal, all sing)

Confirmed members of Emmanuel and St. John’s Ev. Lutheran churches who have examined themselves and announced their desire to partake of the Lord’s Supper will now be ushered forward to receive Holy Communion. In Communion we receive the true body and true blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in, with, and under the bread and wine, for the forgiveness of sins and strengthening of faith in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(After the distribution, please stand)

THANK THE LORD, CLOSING PRAYER & BLESSING (hymnal page 36-37)

CLOSING HYMN 619 “God Bless Our Native Land”

(Veterans please remain standing after the hymn)

(Note: As you leave today’s service please give your completed Friendship Register sheet to an usher or pastor)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

THEME FOR NEXT SUNDAY NOVEMBER 18, 2018

End Times 3: Saints Triumphant

ACTIVITIES FOR THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 11-NOVEMBER 17

Sun.

Veteran’s Day

8:00 A.M.

Emmanuel Worship

8:30 A.M.

St. John’s Sunday School

9:00 A.M.

Emmanuel/St. John’s Adult Bible Study

10:00 A.M.

St. John’s Worship with communion

9:30am-12:00pm

Book Fair in Gym

12:00PM

Hayes Buchholz baptism at Emmanuel

Mon.

6:30 P.M.

Bible Information Class at St. John’s

6:30 P.M.

Choir at St. John’s

7:30 P.M.

St. John’s Adult Bible Study

Tues.

11:00AM-4:00PM

Book Fair in Gym

6:30 P.M.

Men’s Bible Study at St. John’s

Wed.

NO LITTLE LAMBS/ST. JOHN’S SCHOOL

10:00 A.M.

Adult Bible Study at St. John’s

6:30 P.M.

St. John’s Worship

Thurs.

8:00 A.M.

St. John’s Teen Confirmation Class

6:00 P.M.

Griefshare at St. John’s

6:30 P.M.

St. John’s Council meeting

2:30PM-3:30PM

Book Fair in Gym

Fri.

2:00PM-3:30PM

Book Fair in Gym

Sat.

9:00AM-4:00PM

Holiday Trail/Book Fair/Thai Village Crafts

SCHEDULE FOR NEXT SUNDAY NOVEMBER 18, 2018

End Times 3: Saints Triumphant

8:00 A.M.

Emmanuel Worship

8:30 A.M.

St. John’s Sunday School

9:00 A.M.

St. John’s Adult Bible Study

10:00 A.M.

St. John’s Worship

9:30AM-12:00PM

Book Fair in Gym

ST. JOHN’S DIRECTORIES ARE HERE! If you sat with Lifetouch for a photography session and had a Lifetouch photo put into our new directory, come pick up your free directory in the link way. If you submitted your own photo and would like a directory, they can be purchased for $10.00 ea.

PLEASE MUTE YOUR CELL PHONES before the worship service begins. No texting while driving or worshiping.

MEN’S BIBLE CLASS this week Tuesday at 6:30pm. Being tolerant is good, right? Or is it? What does God say?

TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH WELS DVDS are available in the St. John’s link way-$5 donation.

ADVENT begins on Sunday, December 2, this year.  It’s the season that anticipates the coming of the Savior.  We prepare for this coming in many ways.  But one way is by decorating and beautifying our homes and churches.  We use a circle of artificial greens around our Advent candles in the front of the church, with each candle lit in order on Sundays in Advent, and each candle symbolizing an important event on the way to the Savior’s birth—the last candle is the Christ Candle. 

 But another way is to hang Christmas wreaths on the church doors as a sign of welcome. 

 

Once again—anyone interested in donating toward the purchase of wreaths for the front doors at St. John’s is encouraged to contact LuAnn Zieman at 608-297-2422 or email zieman@bugnet.net or by mail at W1440 State Rd 23, Montello, WI 53949.

GRIEFSHARE A 13-week session has started at St. John’s. We meet in the lower level at St. John’s at 6:00p.m.  Feel free to call or leave a message with any questions or concerns (608) 697-1600 Mark Emond

CHRISTIAN ONE-LINERS (from a WELS member): God Himself doesn’t propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?

https://bookfairs.scholastic.com/bookfairs/cptoolkit/assetuploads/400016_LG_enchanted_forest_clip_art_gnome_toadstool.jpgSCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR This year’s Scholastic Book Fait will start on today, Nov. 11 through Sunday, Nov. 18th! Our theme this year is “A Christmas Enchanted Forest”. All purchases benefit the children and our school as we receive scholastic dollars for every item sold, in return buys books for our school library. If anyone is unable to attend, we also have an online book fair. You may access it at scholastic.com/fair and your purchases will be delivered to school. See the book fair schedule below:

Sunday, Nov. 11 9:30am-12:00pm

Tuesday, Nov. 13 11:00am-4:00pm

Thursday, Nov. 15 2:30pm-3:30pm

Friday, Nov. 16 2:00pm-3:30pm

Saturday, Nov. 17 9:00am-4:00pm Holiday Trail

Sunday, Nov. 18 9:30am-12:00pm

GRANDPARENTS DAY This Tuesday, Nov. 13, St. John’s School and Little Lambs will have Grandparents Day. Free hot lunch will be provided for the students and their “grands” (this includes parents, guardians, special family, etc.). The teachers will have special plans for the students and their grandparents during lunch. Free will offering will be accepted but not mandatory. Please RSVP to the office. So kids, invite your Grandparents!

VOLUNTEERS WANTED AT EMMANUEL Emmanuel Lutheran Church is still recruiting 1 (or more) volunteers to assist with the following position; all expenses are reimbursed by Emmanuel Lutheran Church.  

1) Sunday School Teacher: This individual will help further the Christian up-bringing of parish and non-parish children, historically between the ages of 2 and 6, by managing the weekly Sunday School sessions held in the Emmanuel Parish Hall. The timing of the class and age group preference is flexible.  If you are interested in serving the Lord with your time and talents by assisting with these important activities, please contact Darrell Buchholz or Pastor Zietlow.

WORSHIP COMMITTEE UPDATE

Our combined Emmanuel/St. John’s Worship Committee wants your feedback! We have been meeting to discuss opportunities for growth based on feedback you gave during our congregational survey. Your responses indicate that you feel that our worship services, worship attendance, and our level of spiritual growth could all be improved. Guess what? That’s exactly what God wants, too!

In the coming weeks and months we will be incorporating some fresh ideas into our worship life. The Bible clearly teaches that the Word in its truth and purity must never change. But the primary purpose of the manner or style in which it is taught is to reach out to as many people as possible in whatever way is possible and to do it all to the glory of God!

We will be inviting you to complete a brief survey in the weeks ahead. We ask for your honest thoughts, suggestions for improvement, your reasons for the possible changes, and how you might be able to help our congregation move forward. Please feel free to give a note to James Wachholz or the church/school secretary at any time.

All glory to God!

Emmanuel/St. John’s Joint Worship Committee

Attendance

Emmanuel

St. John’s

11-4 11-7

115

122 11

St. John’s Altar Committee:

November 2018

Jennie Utke

&

Susan Brown

St. John’s Greeters Schedule

Nov 11

Linda Lou Wacholtz & Karen Wojtalewicz

Nov 18

Don & Doris Smith

Nov 22

James & Linda Wachholz

Nov 25

Ron & Evie Blada

See the source image

Usher Schedule

November 11

E

(with comm.) SJ

Don Stelter, Bruce Stelter, Duwayne Sommerfeld

Jack Yates; Chief, Martin Schmanke, Lee Ollendorf, Aaron Kendall, Chuck Boetcher

November 18

E

SJ

Brian Ninneman, Paul Wuerch, Don Stelter

Don Smith; Chief, Jim Eisermann, Corey Kaul, Jerre Duerr, Robin Smith

November 21

Thanksgiving E

Darrell Buchholz, Glenn Buchholz, Paul Dahlke

November 22

Thanksgiving SJ

Kenon Smith; Chief, Del Henke, Joe Zauner, Gordon Krause, Richard Freitag

November 25

E

(with comm.) SJ

Duwayne Sommerfeld, Glenn Buchholz, Joe Heller

Cal Kapp; Chief, Gergardt Voigt, Mitch Simon, Karl Whitrock, Matt Borzick

Welcome To Our Visitors!

Please Sign Our Guest Register

Visit our website link at: www.stjohnsmontello.org

Like & find us on Facebook

Pastor Peter Zietlow Office (608) 297-2321

Cell & Text (608) 408-7830, E-mail: zietlowpl6@hotmail.com

Teacher Karin Stellick (920) 342-3689

Teacher Sara Borck (858) 731-7919

Teacher Rachel Naumann (847) 913-2135

Teacher Cassie Doering (920) 723-8986

Parish/School Secretary Ciara Neuhauser (608) 297-2866

Altar Ladies Elaine Kelm (920) 344-0025 &

Carolyn Rosenthal 589-5036

Mail to: 313 E Montello St, Montello, WI 53949

OR scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org

Winnebago Lutheran Academy

Principal Mr. David Schroeder/WLA office (920) 921-4930

WLA website: www.wlavikings.org

Every Spot Is Gone – November 9, 2018

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Isaiah 1:18

Every Spot Is Gone


Daily Devotion – November 9, 2018

Devotion based on Isaiah 1:18

See series: Devotions

Lady Macbeth was confident that she and her husband had nothing to be concerned about. Yes, they both were guilty of murder, since Macbeth had stabbed King Duncan to death and she had insisted that he do it. Yes, they both had hands that were covered in King Duncan’s blood. But all they had to do, Lady Macbeth thought, was wash Duncan’s blood off their hands and then everything would be okay. “A little water clears us of this deed. How easy is it, then!” she said to her husband.

Lady Macbeth, however, soon learned that it wasn’t that easy. Washing Duncan’s blood off her hands may have rid her of the external evidence of her crime, but it did not wash away her guilt. That guilt gnawed at her and tormented her and drove her mad. Finally, she sleepwalked around her castle, trying in vain to wash away the spots of Duncan’s blood that she still saw staining her hands.

Sin is like that. When we do something wrong, something that we know God doesn’t want us to do, we like to think that we can easily remove the stain of that sin from ourselves. A little bit of doing good will clear us of our sin. A little bit of denying that the sin ever happened will clear us of our sin. A little bit of promising to do better next time will clear us of our sin. We tell ourselves that it is easy, but we soon find out that it’s not that easy. In spite of our best efforts to rid ourselves of the stain of our sins, the stain remains. And it only grows larger and darker with each subsequent sin.

So, are we, like Lady Macbeth, doomed to bear the blood-red stain of our sins forever? No. In our Bible passage today, God tells us, “Come now, let us settle the matter. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” But how can God cleanse such an indelible stain from us and make us clean? He does it by washing us in something much more powerful than water. He washes us in the blood of his Son, Jesus.

Normally, when we dip something in blood, it doesn’t come out clean. However, when God washes us in the blood of his Son, we do come out clean. Jesus’ blood, poured out on the cross, is the perfect payment for all our sins. And when we are washed in that blood, every stain of our sins disappears. Though our sins were like scarlet, in the blood of Jesus we become as pure as the freshly fallen snow. Though our sins were like crimson-red, in the blood of Jesus we become as white as wool.

Lady Macbeth tried and failed to remove the stain of her sins from her hands. Thankfully, we don’t have to rely on our own efforts to be cleansed of the stain of our sins. In the blood of Jesus, God has washed us and made us completely clean. We are now pure and holy in his sight, because in Jesus every spot of sin is gone.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I praise you for washing me in the blood of Jesus and making me clean. May I joyfully live in your forgiveness forever. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Established by God – November 8, 2018

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Romans 13:1

Established by God


Daily Devotion – November 8, 2018

Devotion based on Romans 13:1

See series: Devotions

God established governing authorities because human beings are not perfect. Sin doesn’t just affect our relationship with God; it affects our relationship with each other. Sinful humanity needs an institution to keep the peace, and God established the governing authorities to make the sin-infested world a safer place to live.

This is why the government does so much that is good. You experience that good whenever you drive on a highway or enjoy police protection. It’s a great blessing to worship and speak your faith without government interference. When God’s servants in government do their job, God’s servants in his kingdom can do theirs.

But sin always corrupts, and the governing authorities are no exception. Government often ignores God who established it and oppresses people rather than serves them. Jesus experienced affliction under government authority. He was unjustly arrested, tried, beaten, and crucified—all at the government’s command.

Why did Jesus endure it? Because he loves us. He perfectly submitted to the governing authorities and demonstrated that he was in complete control. Government gone wrong sent Jesus to the cross, and that is exactly where he wanted to go. Even bad government is part of God’s plan to save sinners, because it sent Jesus to Calvary to complete his work of salvation for us.

Governing authorities are not perfect, but they are a gift from God. Government is a gift for this life from the Savior who will still be King of kings and Lord of lords when all earthly governments have passed away.

Prayer:
Gracious Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of government. Bless and guide all who make, administer, enforce, and judge our laws, so that we may live in peace until we enter your eternal kingdom. 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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God the Potter – November 7, 2018

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”
Jeremiah 18:1-6

God the Potter


Daily Devotion – November 7, 2018

Devotion based on Jeremiah 18:1-6

See series: Devotions

Have you ever seen the potter at his wheel? It’s amazing! Starting with a lump of spinning clay, a good potter can form and shape until he has created a usable vessel, and often it’s a work of art!

But sometimes it just doesn’t seem to work. So what does the potter do? He reshapes, sometimes even beginning again.

How desperately I need God to reshape me, to reform me! I make a mess out of so many things, oh-so-often! I fail to listen to and focus on God and his Word. I fail to love God with all my heart. I fail to love my neighbor as myself. I make a mess out of myself and I often hurt others!

And yet God, the “potter,” continues to lovingly work with me! He continues to forgive me, love me, and assures me that I am his child. I deserve his wrath! He gives me his love!

And in love he, the potter, continues to shape me; a push here, a prod there, more—or less—pressure as needed. And in the end? I will be an amazing work of art, fashioned by THE Potter himself!

Prayer:
O God, continue to shape and form me that I might show your glory in my life. 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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Pencil – November 6, 2018

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.
Revelation 14:6

Pencil


Daily Devotion – November 6, 2018

Devotion based on Revelation 14:6

See series: Devotions

Sixty years ago next month, a man by the name of Leonard Read wrote a short but extraordinary article. What made it so extraordinary was that it took the abstract and seemingly dull subject of economics and made it concrete. But his little article did more than that. With this piece, Leonard Read also filled countless readers with a sense of humility and a sense of awe.

The title of his essay was, “I, Pencil.” In it, Read demonstrates how even the making of a plain pencil involves all kinds of people in all kinds of circumstances from all over the world.

He starts with the wood. The wood had to come from a source of lumber—perhaps a place like the American Pacific Northwest. But the equipment to harvest the trees came from somewhere else, the metals for making the equipment came from somewhere else, and the transportation for moving the wood involved many scattered teams of individuals in various places. In addition, the human skill needed to transform massive loads of lumber into precise, delicate sizes involved many more.

In his article, Leonard Read then goes on to think through all the other parts of the pencil. What has to happen to get the graphite for the pencil? What has to happen to develop the yellow paint? What has to happen to construct a machine that will print the letters and numbers? What about the coats of lacquer that cover the pencil? What about the metal band on the end that fits just right? What about that mysterious piece of technology we call the eraser? What’s the nature of the glue that holds all the parts together? And finally, what does it take to assemble all of these different components in such a way that it does not cost a fortune to do it?

A major point in Read’s article is this. The creation of just a plain pencil does not involve a few select people. Rather, it involves wide swaths of people from multiple languages, multiple cultures.

In that way, it’s similar to how the Lord uses the gospel to create his Church. The Good News of what Jesus did on the cross to wash us clean is not for a select group or a select class. The gospel, John records, is for every nation, tribe, language, and people. The gospel is for everyone because everyone needs the gospel. And it is through this gospel that God builds his Church out of wide swaths of souls from multiple languages, multiple cultures; from Pakistan to China, from Cameroon to Germany, from the Navajo Nation to Brazil, from Siberia to Vietnam, from Montreal, Quebec, to Casa Grande, Arizona.

The next time you hold a pencil in your hand, think beyond the pencil. Think about the breathtaking miracle that is the Church.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for your gospel. Move me to remember that your gospel is for everyone. Everyone. 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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A Deadly Deception – November 5, 2018

Jesus said to [his disciples]: “Watch out that no one deceives you.”
Mark 13:5

A Deadly Deception


Daily Devotion – November 5, 2018

Devotion based on Mark 13:5

See series: Devotions

Jesus offered an earnest warning to his disciples. He knew what they would endure while he was on this earth. He also knew what they would endure after he ascended to his Father’s right hand in heaven. Jesus issued the warning because of his sincere love and care for their spiritual well-being. The warning still applies today. I need to take these words of caution to heart, “Watch out that no one deceives you.”

Deceptions abound. Their purpose is always the same because their author is the same. The devil who is a liar is also a master deceiver. He manufactures half-truths with impunity. He manipulates conversations to fit his dialogue. He molds perceptions to accommodate his purpose. Each is a deadly attack designed to destroy my faith.

This is why Jesus’ exhortation is paramount. I need to be on my guard and keep my eyes open. There is never a “time out” from the devil’s attacks. His deceptions come when I least expect them, and they are compelling at my most vulnerable times. I can never let my guard down for a moment.

While my heartfelt desire is to keep watch, I know what often happens. My eyes grow weary because of the strain. I fall asleep because I am exhausted from the battle. Even worse, I tend to minimize the deadly nature of the devil’s deceptions. I need to rely on Jesus’ encouragement. I also need to rely on his strength. He was faithful. He was unyielding. He was victorious. He endured every deadly deception I would ever have to experience, and he overcame them without fault or failure.

Through Jesus I am able to recognize the devil’s deadly deceptions. Through Jesus I have perseverance to keep watch. Through Jesus I have strength to be victorious.

Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 472)
Rise, my soul to watch and pray; from your sleep awaken!
Be not by the evil day unawares o’ertaken.
For the foe, well we know, is a harvest reaping
While the saints are sleeping.

But while watching also pray to the Lord unceasing.
God protects you day by day, strength and faith increasing,
So that still mind and will shall unite to serve him
And forever love him.

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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Persecution Preservation Perseverance – November 4, 2018

All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Matthew 10:22

Persecution Preservation Perseverance


Daily Devotion – November 4, 2018

Devotion based on Matthew 10:22

See series: Devotions

In love Jesus took his disciples aside to prepare them for the time when his earthly ministry would come to an end. He warned them about the persecutions they would face. He also encouraged them through his promise that he would preserve them. He even offered them the assurance that they would persevere.

In love Jesus provides me with the same preparation for my life. As a disciple of Jesus I need to understand the world in which I live is not my friend. There are distractions and deceptions. Each proves destructive to my faith because they draw me away from my Savior and his will for my life. Even more dangerous are the persecutions I will have to endure. These deadly attacks are designed by the devil to destroy my faith and rob me of heaven. Jesus alerts me to these dangers. He also makes me aware of the preservation he provides.

Jesus tells me I will be able to stand firm to the end. My confidence to remain steadfast comes through faith in his precious work. Jesus’ ministry brought him to this earth to secure the victory I could never win on my own. Through his death on the cross, he defeated the terror of death and the grave. Through his descent into hell, he proved that he destroyed the devil’s power and control. Through his resurrection he proclaimed the victory was won. Jesus further assures me he will preserve me from all harm and danger, and guard and protect me from all evil.

It is because of Jesus’ precious work that I will be able to persevere. Life can be wearisome and discouraging. I will have to endure troubles and persecution. The enemies of my faith will seek to strike terror into my heart and rob me of heaven. Jesus not only tells me, “Do not be afraid,” he also assures me I will persevere. Because of his strength and his victory I can endure and overcome all things.

How blessed I am to know that my Savior will preserve me so that I can persevere in every time of distress and persecution. How blessed I am to know he will be with me to save me.

Prayer:
O gracious Savior, by your death you have overcome death. By your resurrection you have declared your victory. Bless me through your work so that I can remain faithful to you in this life, and in the end, receive the gift of eternal 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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