Daily Devotions
Today's Devotion
» Devotion - September 30, 2014

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. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

Romans 13:1-2


Being the President must be a thankless job. It must be a stressful job. No matter what side of the aisle you are on, no matter what decisions you make; roughly 50% of the people are not going to be happy with you. Close to half of the country inevitably will disagree with your decisions. I can’t imagine trying to please everyone in the country for one whole day, let alone four years.

In the U.S. we have the freedom to disagree with our government officials and many feel that the First Amendment allows us to express that disagreement pretty much any way we want to. As you have no doubt observed, this quickly gets out of hand. People express their displeasure with the government through angry bumper stickers, inflammatory emails and vicious comments on blogs and Facebook posts all over the Internet. There is often no respect for the position or for the person in authority. Perhaps we too at times are tempted to join in and to vent our displeasure in sinful ways.

God is not pleased. He commands and encourages us to submit to the governing authorities. God intends to bless us through the government that he has established. God says, “Whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” That is a fate we all deserve for our sins.

The good news is that Jesus came to pay for those sins and he faced judgment so that we wouldn’t have to. He gave his life to pay for our rebellion and disrespect, and he shed his blood to forever wash those sins away. Now as his forgiven children he gives us government and leaders all in an effort to bless us in so many ways. He asks us to follow his example in honoring the government as God’s appointed representatives. While being the President may be a thankless job, let us not forget to thank God for the blessings we have through our government.

Prayer: 

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for blessing me in so many ways through the government you have established. Help me to see my governing authorities as your appointed representatives. Bless our nation’s leaders with wisdom and grant them a willingness to listen to your Word. 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 - September 29, 2014

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or tax collector. I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 18:15-18


“It’s none of my business.”

“I’m afraid it will damage our friendship.”

“Who am I to point out the sin of another since I am a sinner myself?”

When a fellow Christian is caught in a sin, these are the excuses that so often find their way into our vocabulary. On the surface, they all seem legitimate. Why would we ever want to be considered meddlers or controversy starters or self-righteous hypocrites?

But when we trace such excuses to their roots, they get exposed for what they are: tricks and schemes of the devil. After all, Satan will do everything in his power to make sure we do not view sin for what it truly is—a poison that doesn’t just wound or hurt, but a poison that kills. And Satan desires nothing more than for people caught in deliberate sin to continue down that road of sin unrepentant—refusing to recognize their sin and refusing to recognize their desperate need for the forgiveness of our Savior. This is always Satan’s desire, because the road of unrepentance leads to hell.

That’s also why Jesus commands what he does in these words from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 18. Jesus desires the salvation of souls. And so, Jesus commands Christians to call those caught in sin to repentance, that they may recognize their sin and then turn to him for forgiveness.

The steps Jesus calls Christians to follow are clear concerning a brother or sister in Christ. First, approach the fallen sinner privately, that your careful warning may lead him to the repentance God desires. If the person does not repent, involve two or three others, that the seriousness of the matter may be underscored while its privacy maintained. If the sinner still does not repent, take the matter to the church, that the entire body of believers may demonstrate just how seriously the Lord desires repentance and just how greatly the Lord desires to forgive. Finally, if the unrepentant sinner refuses to listen even to the church, exclude him from the church, that he may be continually reminded that impenitence kills saving faith.

Because our Savior has issued us this command solely out of love for sinners, we carry it out with that same spirit of love. We approach it with a single-minded desire to lead sinners to repentance, that they may experience the joy of his forgiveness once again. And we approach it with a humble heart, recognizing that it is only by God’s grace that our own sins have been forgiven. May God grant all of us such love and humility as we carry out this important work!

Prayer: 

Lord Jesus, in your unlimited love for souls, you have commanded your believers to call sinners to repentance. Move us to carry out this command with that same spirit of love. 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 - September 26, 2014

Hymn of the Week

Take away our love of sinning; Alpha and Omega be.
End of faith as its beginning, Set our hearts at liberty.

We would ever seek your blessing, Serve you as your hosts above,
Pray and praise you without ceasing, Glory in your perfect love.

Sanctify your new creation; Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us trust your great salvation, Won for us on Calvary,


Till we lay our crowns before you, Till in heav’n we take our place,
Till in glory we adore you, Lost in wonder, love and praise.
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 365, verses 2-3)

 

Love Divine, All Love Excelling

God loved us so much that he sent his only Son to be our substitute. That Son lived a perfect life in our place and died to take the punishment for our sins. Whoever believes in that Son has eternal life and will never go to hell.

When we hear about this great love for us, we are moved to demonstrate our gratitude to God. How can we do that? God gives us a few ways. “Love me more than sinning,” he says. With just a little experience, we realize how hard that is, so we pray to him, “Take away our love of sinning.” And he answers us, “I have freed you to serve me. Remember that I am always with you.”

We would like to live pure and spotless lives in loving gratitude to God, but we fail. God calls us to repentance, again and again, and says, “Trust that the forgiveness that Jesus won for you by dying on the cross makes you pure and spotless in my eyes. You are my own dear child.”

Sometimes, especially in worship, we forget about our guilt and all of the sin around us, and we find simple joy in Jesus. But then sinful earthly reality intrudes again. At those moments, we look forward to heaven, where there will be no more sorrow, no more pain. Until then, we pray and praise God, giving thanks.

Prayer: 

Jesus, you are all compassion, boundless mercy from above. Visit us with benediction; comfort us with heavenly love. Amen.

From September through December 2014, the Daily Devotions on Thursday and Friday are based on the Word of God expressed in a Christian Hymn selected each week. All devotions in this series are located here.

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 - September 25, 2014

Hymn of the Week

Love divine, all love excelling,
Joy of heav’n, to earth come down,
Fix in us your humble dwelling,
All your faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, you are all compassion,
Boundless mercy from above,
Visit us with benediction;
Comfort us with heav’nly love.

(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 365, verse 1)

Love Divine, All Love Excelling

The saddest stories are the ones where there used to be love in the family but then it becomes clear that love is gone when someone moves out. When we receive love, especially in the family, we want it to last as long as we live.

God created us to love him and be in his family, but the saddest stories in the Bible are when human beings reject that love and decide that they want to live outside of the family of God.

The happiest story of the Bible, however, is that God does not give up on us when we walk away from his love. Jesus, who is Love itself beyond all other loves, came down to earth to demonstrate God’s love for us. While we were still sinners, he died for us. He speaks words of blessing to us, comforting us and making us part of God’s family again.

God’s family love is even stronger than human family love. When Jesus lives in us through faith, we have comfort even if father or mother forsake us. Jesus will never leave or forsake us. Our spouse may leave us, but Jesus’ love is so strong that he forgives us again and again and stays with us always.

Human love is delightful, fantastic, satisfying, and fulfilling. Divine love is even better.

Prayer: 

We would ever seek your blessing, Jesus, serve you as your hosts above, pray and praise you without ceasing, glory in your perfect love. Amen.

From September through December 2014, the Daily Devotions on Thursday and Friday are based on the Word of God expressed in a Christian Hymn selected each week. All devotions in this series are located here.

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 - September 24, 2014

The LORD says: "If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me … I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you … from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the grasp of the cruel."

Jeremiah 15:19-21

Restored by God to serve God

Jeremiah had a difficult ministry. For fifty years, he preached a message of repentance to the Jews, but his message mostly fell on deaf ears. God’s word had been Jeremiah’s joy and delight, but the prophet’s life was not a joy. He was shunned, beaten, and imprisoned. He had few friends. No one sympathized with him.

Can we blame Jeremiah for getting frustrated with God? He had done everything God had asked of him. He was a faithful witness to God’s word. In return, he had received nothing but pain and loneliness. Didn’t he deserve a better life than that? Where was God’s mercy for Jeremiah? Where was God’s deliverance?

Such frustration is understandable but hardly excusable. Jeremiah expected God to change, to give him a break. Instead, God changed Jeremiah. He led the prophet to repent and believe God’s promises about his ministry. God still had work for Jeremiah to do.

When we suffer through difficult times, we also may question God’s faithfulness and demand that he set us free.

However, let’s not forget what God has already done for us. He has been faithful to us. Jesus suffered and died for our sins, and God raised him from the dead as proof that he has dropped all charges of guilt against us. Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you are free indeed.

In this world, we will have trouble, but we can rejoice because Jesus has overcome the world. Persecution will always be a part of the Christian’s life. However, God will make us strong enough to stand up under it. God has work for us to do. Like Jeremiah, we are here to bring God’s word to the world even if we suffer for it.

Prayer: 

Lord, your words are a delight to me and the joy of my heart. If I must suffer for them, give me your strength to be faithful to you so that I may receive the crown of life. 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

"For it is by grace that we are saved through faith, and not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, so that noone can boast." ~ Ephesians 2:8-9