Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions
Today's Devotion
» Devotion - July 2, 2015

If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

‭‭John 8:36

Free Indeed!

Willie Williams spent 22 years in a Georgia prison for a crime he didn’t commit. When he was exonerated by DNA evidence, he was set free. Of course, he was beyond happy with his freedom. But he also struggled to get used to it. He didn’t feel free. For a long time, he woke up at 3 A.M. and looked around to see if he was still in prison. Sure enough, though, he really was free.

Freedom is a precious gift. It is an undeserved gift because we did commit crimes, sins, against the Creator. We came into this world as prisoners of sin and held captive by the eternal death we deserved.

But Jesus Christ, God’s Son, has set us free. Jesus allowed our sin to pin him down on the cross. He allowed our death to entomb him. He broke out of our prison when he died and rose again from death. We are free! Free indeed!

You may not feel very free. Do your daily temptations threaten to enslave you? Do your daily problems make you feel trapped? Do your fears and worries box you in and paralyze you? Do you look ahead to the end of life and feel death’s walls closing in?

Don’t be fooled by your feelings. Listen to what the Son promises you—he has set you free. You are free. Free indeed!

Free! Sin has no more power to condemn—you are forgiven. Temptation has no more power to control you—Jesus is always with you. Death has no more power to terrify you—Jesus lives again and so will you.

Willie Williams had to keep reminding himself that he really was free.

So do you. You may not feel free, but through Jesus you are. Free indeed! And one day, in heaven, you’ll feel it fully: no sin, no problems, no temptations, no fear, no death.

Until then, trust what the Son tells you: you are free. Free indeed!

Prayer: 

Dear Lord Jesus, since you have set me free, I am free indeed! Thank you! Help me to trust that this gift of freedom is really mine. Amen.

Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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.

--Daily Devotion

» Devotion - July 1, 2015

Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know. Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?”

‭‭Job 38:1-11

God’s Plan–Your Plan

It is easy to question God. After all, God doesn’t do things the same way you or I do things. We have our way of doing things and God has his own. In fact, if God offered a “suggestions for improvement” box we could probably fill it so full that the box would burst with all the “improvements” we have for God.

Thank God that he doesn’t do things our way. Thank God that he has a better plan.

My vision, my abilities, my wisdom are so limited. I might think I have life all figured out, but should God really take advice from someone like me? I lose my car keys on an almost weekly basis and can’t keep most houseplants alive, yet I think I can advise God on running the world. How foolish for any of us to think we know better than God.

God’s vision is eternal. His abilities are limitless. His wisdom is flawless. We see this as we look at his wonderful creation. It is a universe so vast that over mankind’s entire history we have just begun to understand it. It is a universe so complex and great that we can’t fathom it. Yet it was all put together and arranged by God.

So go and be in awe of God’s plan.  See how his plan is better than yours. Go and look at a sunset and see the proof that God knows what he is doing. Turn your eyes toward space and see the planets and stars flying around us and know that God can handle big problems. Most importantly, look to Jesus and see God’s perfect plan for your salvation through his death and resurrection.

Look around. God has a good plan for you.

Prayer: 

Father, you created a wonderful world and vast universe that shout your glory. Help me always to trust you to carry out the best plan for my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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.

--Daily Devotion

» Devotion - June 30, 2015

God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

‭‭2 Corinthians 5:19

Reconciliation

Reconciliation. It’s a word we often use in the realm of relationships. A relationship that once was broken is fixed. Peace and harmony exist where there was once discord and strife. That’s reconciliation.

It is a beautiful thing when a broken relationship between two human beings is reconciled. A brother is reconciled to a brother. A mother is reconciled to a daughter. A husband is reconciled to his wife. Whatever disharmony exists in our human relationships, it is a beautiful thing to see peace restored.

It is infinitely more beautiful to think about reconciliation in the realm of our relationship with God. A relationship once broken because of our sinfulness—a relationship that could have remained eternally broken—now fixed! God accomplished this reconciliation “in Christ,” who came into our world to live and to die in order to win for us the forgiveness of our sins. Through Jesus’ saving work, God no longer counts our sins against us. What a beautiful thing to see our peace with God restored, that we might enjoy a perfect relationship with him both now and forever in heaven.

And did you notice? God didn’t just reconcile you to himself in Christ. “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ.” That means, the story of every single person living in our world is the story of Christ and the story of forgiveness and life in his name. Jesus Christ lived and died for the sins of all people.  Therefore, by trusting in Jesus as their Savior, people of the world can enjoy the blessing of a restored relationship with God now and forever.

This story of Christ, this “message of reconciliation” needs to be shared with the world. And, grace upon grace, God has committed the message of reconciliation “to us.” So who in your life needs to be told this story of Christ? Who in your life needs to be reminded of what their sins have done to their relationship with God? Who in your life doesn’t yet know that Christ came to fix their relationship with God, and fix it forever? Who in your life needs to hear the message of reconciliation?

Pray for opportunities to share this message. Pray for the patience to listen, for the strength to speak, and for the wisdom to know what words to say when those opportunities arise. God promises to answer those prayers, for he has committed this message of reconciliation “to us.” What a beautiful thing that we get to be his instruments in sharing it with others!

Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, as one whom you have reconciled to yourself in Christ, use me as your instrument in taking this message of reconciliation to others, so that they might know you as I know you. Amen.

Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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.

--Daily Devotion

» Devotion - June 29, 2015

That day when evening came, [Jesus] said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown? He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

‭‭Mark 4:35-41‬‬‬‬‬‬

Willing and Able

As Jesus’ disciples faced a life-threatening storm in a nearly sinking ship, they knew they needed help. Imagine the frustration they must have felt as they found Jesus sleeping on a cushion. Here lies Jesus who appears to be a useless mixture of unaware, unwilling and unable to help them. It is no wonder they cried out, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

Maybe you have felt the same way in your life. As the storms of life come and you are faced with the loss of health, finances, or loved ones, have you wondered about God’s willingness and ability to help you? Have you ever cried out, “God, don’t you care that I am drowning?”

As frustrated as the disciples were at Jesus’ seeming lack of concern, they were even more amazed at his tremendous ability to help. “He rebuked the winds and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” Jesus is willing and able to help.

Then Jesus asked a question that is very valuable for us to answer, “Why are you so afraid?”  Are you afraid because there is a violent storm with deadly waves in your life? Are you afraid because God doesn’t seem to be answering your calls for help? Are you afraid because you are about to lose everything? Are you afraid because God is not doing what you want him to do when you want him to do it?

With his mighty acts of power Jesus is sending a clear message: “I am able to help.”  In his life Jesus showed his great power. He quieted a storm. He healed the sick. He drove out demons. He even raised the dead. He showed his power to save.

And when Jesus went to the cross to give his life to pay for the sins of all people, he sent another clear message: “I am willing to help you.” He came to earth and became one of us. He willingly suffered for us. He faced death for us. Even his triumphant resurrection was for us. Jesus did all this so that you would recognize his great commitment and love for you.

You are going to experience storms in your life. We all are. But in these storms remember that you are never alone. Jesus, your Savior God, is willing and able to help.

Prayer: 

Lord, I know that you are by my side at all times. Thank you for assuring me that I don’t need to fear even in the most stressful situations. Thank you for always being ready to save me. Amen.

Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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.

--Daily Devotion

» Devotion - June 28, 2015

When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Matthew 9:36


Jesus was a man in motion. He healed a paralytic, a sick woman and two blind men. He raised another man’s daughter from the dead. He called others to be his disciples. He answered the questions posed by searchers and skeptics. And all in Matthew chapter nine! The verse preceding our text describes it this way: “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness.”  

Why this activity, this urgency? Because the people were harassed by false prophets. Because they were harassed by the forces of evil in this dark world. Because they were harassed by the guilt of their own sin and the fear of eternal death. And by themselves they were helpless to do anything about it.

Sound familiar? Aren’t we tempted by false prophets of this world who promise a way to heaven other than through Christ? Aren’t we besieged by forces of evil in this sinful world that want to drag us away into the deadly sins of laziness, selfishness, greed, pornography, adultery, idolatry, and the like? Don’t we get depressed by our own sinfulness and guilt and sometimes wonder whether heaven can really be our home? And by ourselves we are certainly just as helpless. Often we feel like lost sheep without a shepherd to guide, strengthen and protect us.

But Jesus is more than a man in motion. He’s the Good Shepherd who has come to guide, strengthen and protect us, his harassed and helpless sheep. Living the perfect life of love we couldn’t, he moved on to Gethsemane and two unjust trials that condemned him. Then he allowed himself to be taken to Calvary where he gave his life for his sheep, taking the curse for all their sins. Yes, even yours and mine. He kept moving through death and the grave, rising on Easter Sunday morning, and eventually moved back to his throne in heaven. He assures us that his victory is ours. We’re fully forgiven and headed for heaven.  

He did all this because of his compassion! Compassion has been defined as love in motion. That’s why Jesus was a man on the move. He had compassion for the lost, harassed and helpless like us. His love moved him to live and die for you and me.

It’s his love in motion that moves us to action, too. The lost and harassed around us need to know of their Savior! It’s time for us to get moving to tell them.

Prayer: 

Dear Jesus, may your compassion move me to put my love into motion. Help me to reach out to the harassed and helpless around me. Move me to actively share your love with my words and works. Amen.

Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com. This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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.

--Daily Devotion