The Best Lawyer Blood Can Buy – February 21, 2024

Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Romans 8:34

The Best Lawyer Blood Can Buy

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Daily Devotion – February 21, 2024

Devotion based on Romans 8:34


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In this broken world, things are often unfair. In many situations, one person has the advantage over another. Like if I tried beating a professional basketball player in a game of one-on-one. I could never win. For one thing, I could practice for 10,000 lifetimes and still never dunk a basketball. I can’t jump. For me to play against a pro would be an unfair fight.

What’s true of life in general is also true of any legal system, regardless of how “fair” it claims to be. If you can afford the best lawyers money can buy, you will have a better chance of winning your case than if you’re provided with an overworked public defender whom you can’t pay. Even if those faithful servants do their best to put on a solid defense, it’s not the same as having lawyers at the top of their profession. It’s like trying to dunk a basketball with a four-inch vertical leap.

So, who will represent us in God’s eternal courtroom? The best lawyers money can buy? No, we have been given a public defender because we can’t pay for our defense. But in this case, our lawyer is not only a faithful servant—he’s God’s sinless Son, Jesus. John the Evangelist once described him as our “advocate (i.e. lawyer) with the Father” (1 Jn 2:1). But Jesus isn’t the best lawyer money can buy. No, he’s the best lawyer blood can buy, and he paid the fee by shedding his precious blood for all people, for you. The Bible tells us that he is “the atoning sacrifice . . . for the sins of the whole world” (1 Jn 2:2).

That’s why the apostle Paul asked, “Who then is the one who condemns?” and answered, “No one.” And why? Because “Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” In God’s eternal courtroom, you have the best lawyer blood can buy.

Prayer:
Thank you, Jesus, for being my lawyer and paying the price to set me free from my sins. Amen.

Daily 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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Absolute Immunity – February 20, 2024

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
Romans 8:33

Absolute Immunity

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Daily Devotion – February 20, 2024

Devotion based on Romans 8:33


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Most people are blessed to have a high-functioning immune system. It keeps us from getting sick as often as we otherwise would. But no person has had absolute immunity from disease since the fall into sin. We are all susceptible in one way or another.

Within the American legal system, certain government officials are protected by what is called absolute immunity when they’re carrying out the duties of their office. Simply put, if they can demonstrate that their actions were a requirement of the job they were given to do, then those actions can never become the subject of criminal charges or a civil lawsuit. They are absolutely immune to legal action against them in an American courtroom.

But is there such a thing as absolute immunity in God’s courtroom? Indeed, there is. And even better, everyone who places their faith in Jesus has it! No, that doesn’t mean God has given Jesus’ disciples the green light to commit any sin they want to commit. But God’s promise to them is as clear as the words Jesus once spoke to a paralyzed man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2).

Those words are more than a pious wish or a nice thing to say to someone who has sinned against you. They are a powerful pronouncement of absolute immunity. They mean forgiven and forever forgotten. No prosecution. No judgment. No condemnation. You are free and clear! As far as God is concerned, through faith in Jesus, your sins no longer exist. You’re immune from all eternal punishment for them.

That’s what the apostle Paul was emphasizing when he asked, “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?” Answer: “It is God who justifies (i.e., declares us ‘not guilty’).” In other words, you have absolute immunity in God’s courtroom. Take heart; your sins are forgiven in Jesus and by Jesus. You’re free to go!

And how can we respond to such an amazing and absolute immunity to God’s eternal judgment? Answer: forgive others in the same way. Don’t hold grudges. Be like Jesus. Grant absolute immunity!

Prayer:
Jesus, lead me to rejoice in my immunity from the judgment of sin and help me forgive others in the same way. Amen.

Daily 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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How do you respond? – February 19, 2024

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:31,32

How do you respond?

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Daily Devotion – February 19, 2024

Devotion based on Romans 8:31,32


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The apostle Paul was not the kind of guy to sugarcoat things. He told it like it is. And what did he regularly emphasize about the lives of God’s people in this world? That they were bound to suffer. But not just the suffering common to all humans living in this broken world. No, the suffering he highlighted revolves around those nagging doubts that Christians naturally have because their life experiences fail to match what they perceive God’s power and promises to be.

It makes sense—doesn’t it—that if you place your faith in an all-powerful God who claims to love you, everything in your life should go amazingly well? After all, why wouldn’t an almighty God pull every lever in favor of his faithful people to make sure their lives were painlessly carefree?

But what do God’s people experience instead? Trouble. Sorrow. Grief. Pain. Loss. Death. They suffer.

But Paul taught his readers that suffering should come as no surprise to Christians. God promises it, and it’s purposeful. It’s not meant to destroy us but to strengthen us. When suffering shows up at our front door, God asks, “How will you respond?”

Paul urged us to respond with some questions of our own. He wrote, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

In other words, when suffering comes—and it will—it’s no time to throw in the towel. It’s time to recall who’s in charge: our almighty Savior, who loves us. He will never abandon us to suffering. He will use it for our good, and through it, he will prove his eternal saving and saving strength.

Prayer:
Jesus, help me remember in days of suffering that you are strong to save and will, in the end, graciously give me all things. Amen.

Daily 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 Lord Provides – February 18, 2024

So Abraham called that place, “The LORD Will Provide.” And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD, it will be provided.”
Genesis 22:14

The Lord Provides

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Daily Devotion – February 18, 2024

Devotion based on Genesis 22:14


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It started as the worst day of Abraham’s life. His precious son—his only child—had been a source of great joy. God had promised that Abraham and his son would be ancestors of the most important person in the history of the world—Jesus, God himself.

But then God threw Abraham a curveball—a big one. He asked Abraham to sacrifice his son to him. It didn’t make sense AT ALL. God created life, he loves life, and he protects life. God loved Abraham and his son deeply. Why would he end Isaac’s life so soon? How would he ever become a great-great-great-great-(fill in a lot more ‘greats’)-grandfather of Jesus? Isaac was only a boy; he hadn’t had any children yet.

Yet, Abraham trusted God and his promises. Analyzing it all, Abraham concluded that God must be planning a resurrection of his son from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19). That was the only way, he thought, that God could fulfill his promise of blessing the whole world through the Savior that God promised would descend from Abraham through Isaac. So he marched up the mountain with his son, ready to do what God commanded because he knew he could count on God’s unchangeable promises.

The Lord stopped Abraham before he harmed his son. He also provided a substitute sacrifice—a ram. What a breathtaking blessing! Being able to sacrifice the ram instead of his son! Abraham gave the special place a name. He didn’t call it “The worst day of my life” or “The day I almost lost my son.” No, not a self-centered name. Instead, he called it “The LORD Will Provide.”

The Lord has provided for us, too. He sacrificed his Son to die the death we deserved as sinners. As sinners, we don’t deserve to have the favor of the Lord, yet in Christ, we do. We don’t deserve his forgiveness, yet in Christ, it is ours. The Lord has provided a substitute for us. Jesus died to free us to live with the Lord forever.

Prayer:
Dear Savior, thank you for being willing to take the fall for what I have done. What a heartwarming privilege it is to know that you paid for my sins in full, so I don’t have to. Amen.

Daily 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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Escaping Death – February 17, 2024

As they [Elijah and Elisha] were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
2 Kings 2:11

Escaping Death

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Daily Devotion – February 17, 2024

Devotion based on 2 Kings 2:11


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Death and taxes—these are two certainties of life for everyone—everyone except for God’s prophet Elijah. God granted him the privilege of escaping physical death. God took him directly into heaven. The question is–why?

Elijah was a prophet of God, but that was not why he escaped death. God had called others to be prophets, and they died. Elijah fought against idolatry, but so did others, and they died. Elijah proclaimed the Word of God as countless others have done throughout the ages. It was not his calling or courage that earned him the right to escape death and go straight to heaven. It was only by the grace of God that Elijah was taken to heaven without experiencing death.

We cannot escape death on our own, either. The grave awaits us as the Bible teaches, “Man is destined to die” (Hebrews 9:27). Even worse, we have no power to escape the death that we deserve for our sins. This is death that separates us from God forever under his judgment. But God’s grace is revealed to us. He gives us an escape from the death that we face as sinners. He sent his Son, Jesus, and heaped the guilt of our sin on him, making him pay the penalty of eternal death that should have been ours.

Just as God revealed his grace to Elijah by sparing him from physical death, so God reveals his grace to us through Jesus. In Jesus, we are raised to a new life of faith. The death we will face at the end of our lives loses its sting because, in Jesus, we will be raised from the dead and taken to live forever in heaven with Elijah and all believers of all time.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for releasing me from the power of death. Keep me steadfast in your Word until I see you in your glory in heaven. Amen.

Daily 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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Veiled Hearts to Transfigured Lives – February 16, 2024

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:3-6

Veiled Hearts to Transfigured Lives

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Daily Devotion – February 16, 2024

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 4:3-6


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If you’ve ever tried walking around wearing a blindfold, you know it’s not easy. Even familiar places, like your house or room, are suddenly shrouded in darkness. You gingerly take small steps with arms out in front of you, trying not to walk into anything.

The apostle Paul wrote about a different kind of blinding, a spiritual blinding. The god of this world, the forces of sin and unbelief, veil the gospel of Jesus. They do not want anyone to see the radiant light of Christ. Everyone begins life in this darkness, trapped under the veil of unbelief.

But there is hope. This hope doesn’t come from inside of you or from what you do. This hope isn’t even a thing; it’s a person. His name is Jesus. It’s why Paul constantly emphasized Jesus in his preaching and teaching. Jesus is the light. Jesus is the image of God. Jesus takes the veil of darkness away with the gospel, the good news of sins forgiven. Jesus has defeated the god of this world and all the forces of darkness.

You don’t have to walk around blinded by sin and veiled by unbelief. The Holy Spirit takes away the blindfold and puts faith in your heart. He illuminates your life through the preaching and teaching of Jesus.

Jesus changes you. Walking in his light gives you confidence and boldness. You know where you stand with God because Jesus has made things right between you and him. When you live without the veil, you can truly serve God in peace and joy.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for taking away my darkness. Help me serve you always. Amen.

Daily 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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Affirmed by the Father – February 15, 2024

Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
Mark 9:7

Affirmed by the Father

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Daily Devotion – February 15, 2024

Devotion based on Mark 9:7


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How do you find affirmation? You might find it in the number of clicks or “likes” on a social media post. Or perhaps you live for compliments and commendations. Maybe it’s in the stockpiling of material possessions or the power you wield. It could be as simple as comparing yourself to others.

But seeking affirmation through those things will always let you down. Someone else will always have more social media “likes,” more stuff, and more power. If you live for compliments, you live under the burden of constantly trying to outdo yourself. Comparison is the thief of joy because you can always find someone who looks like they have everything you want.

So, where do you find true affirmation? When Jesus stood atop the Mount of Transfiguration, the voice of God the Father, came from the cloud affirming Jesus as the beloved Son of God. God affirmed his relationship with Jesus and his identity.

Through baptism, Christians are connected to Jesus. This connection doesn’t come by works or achievements but through the grace and love of God. It’s a connection that means Christians are also in a loving relationship with God. They have an identity as God’s chosen people. They are God’s beloved children.

Christians are also affirmed in their purpose. God says to listen to Jesus. Tune out all the other distractions, and find true purpose, mission, and worth in listening to the words of the Savior. Listening to Jesus is not merely hearing with ears but heeding with hearts. In a world clamoring for attention, Jesus beckons you to prioritize his voice above all, allowing his words to be the guiding force in your life.

Hear the words of God as his divine declaration of grace. God affirms you not because of your perfection but because of his boundless love and grace. It is a reminder that in Christ, you are loved and accepted.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for choosing me to be part of your family. Help me find purpose in listening to Jesus. Amen.

Daily 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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Down From the Mountain – February 14, 2024

Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Mark 9:8,9

Down From the Mountain

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Daily Devotion – February 14, 2024

Devotion based on Mark 9:8,9


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Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. Christians begin Lent by remembering the cost of their sins. Some churches will smudge ashes, in the form of a cross, on people’s foreheads as a symbolic reminder that they are dust and to dust they will return because of their sins.

It’s a stark difference between the mountaintop Transfiguration experience and Ash Wednesday. Like the disciple Peter, it’s easy to want to stay on top of the mountain, skip the parts of Jesus’ story that make us sad, and just enjoy the radiating brilliance of Jesus. We don’t like to think about our sins or the awful price it cost to take them away.

But Jesus came down from the mountain. He knew there was still work to be done. Before Jesus could fully enjoy his rightful kingly crown again, he was going to first endure a crown of thorns. Before he climbed a mountain of glory again, he would climb a hill called Golgotha, the Place of the Skull—the spot where Jesus was crucified. Instead of being flanked by Moses and Elijah, Jesus would be killed between two common criminals. Instead of the brightness of the Transfiguration, there would be the darkness of death and damnation as God the Father turned his back on his one and only Son.

Lent can be an overwhelming season when we think about the guilt of our sins. But that is not the goal of this season. The goal is to get us to look at Jesus and all he did to save us from those sins. Let that be your focus and comfort this Lenten season.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, give me joy in Jesus this Lenten season. Amen.

Daily 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 God of the Living – February 13, 2024

And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
Mark 9:4

The God of the Living

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Daily Devotion – February 13, 2024

Devotion based on Mark 9:4


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It’s hard to imagine what Jesus’ disciples felt on the Mount of Transfiguration. Not only was Jesus changed before their eyes, but immediately, two other men appeared with Jesus: Moses and Elijah. These two men weren’t just former religious leaders but also heroes of their culture and nation. The earthly lives of these two men had ended hundreds of years ago, and yet here they were, alive and talking with Jesus. For Americans, it would be like seeing George Washington and Abraham Lincoln appear.

The disciples were shocked and amazed by who and what they saw. We can’t blame them for not processing at that moment what was happening. God the Father was verifying that his Son, Jesus, is the fulfillment of what Moses and Elijah each represented.

God delivered his law through Moses on top of Mount Sinai and Jesus came to fulfill every one of those laws. Jesus kept each law perfectly, never once stumbling or making a mistake. Jesus did what we never could when he kept the law of God delivered through Moses.

Elijah was one of God’s greatest prophets. On the mountain, he represented all the prophets and what they had said about the coming of the promised Messiah. Over 300 prophecies were made about the Messiah, and Jesus fulfilled every one of them. All God’s plans and purposes to save his people came together in Jesus.

The disciples saw Elijah and Moses alive. That had to be amazing. But soon, they would see something even more amazing. Jesus alive and risen from the dead after a brutal crucifixion. Even more proof that Jesus is the perfect Savior and the promised Messiah.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, you are the God of the living, not the dead. Thank you for giving me life. Amen.

Daily 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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See Jesus Clearly – February 12, 2024

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.
Mark 9:2,3

See Jesus Clearly

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Daily Devotion – February 12, 2024

Devotion based on Mark 9:2,3


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I had a problem when I was in third grade. I was a decent student, but my grades were slipping. Thankfully, I had a caring and observant teacher, and it didn’t take her long to realize the problem. I kept squinting at the blackboard. My vision had changed, and I could no longer see clearly.

That meant a trip to the eye doctor. He asked me to identify letters on a distant wall. Then he set before me an intimidating-looking machine. I didn’t know it then, but it’s called a phoropter. The doctor worked the lenses on the machine and asked me which was better, “One or two, three or four?” I noticed that I could start to identify the letters on the wall. Instead of being blurry, the letters became clearer and clearer. Finally, I could even read the tiny letters at the bottom.

Jesus took his disciples, Peter, James, and John, up the mountain because Jesus wanted to clarify to them who he really was. They had seen his miracles. They had heard Jesus preach and teach with authority. But Jesus still looked like one of them. He was the son of a carpenter from insignificant Nazareth. Jesus was human in every regard the disciples could see.

But up on the mountain, something changed. Jesus was transfigured before them. He no longer looked like a mere human but divine. The disciples’ view of Jesus was no longer blurry but clear. Standing before them was God himself. They had seen glimpses through the miracles and Jesus’ teaching, but now there was no doubt.

The more time you spend with Jesus as he reveals himself in the Bible, the clearer you will see him. Like an eye doctor cycling through lenses, Jesus reveals more and more of himself to you, helping you see him clearly as your Savior—both true man so that he could die and true God so that his sacrifice could count for your sins and everyone else’s.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for revealing yourself as true man and true God. Help me see you clearly as my Savior. Amen.

Daily 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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