Daily Devotions
Today's Devotion
» Devotion - August 20, 2014

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered, … “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong…” The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.

1 Kings 3:5-6, 9-12


We’ve seen it depicted in so many different ways. A man finds a lamp or a bottle. He rubs the bottle and out pops a genie. “I’ll grant you one wish, whatever you want.” How many times haven’t we thought, “I’d wish for more wishes!”

King Solomon was presented with a similar situation, only it wasn’t a genie in a bottle offering to grant a wish, it was God himself. Imagine being in Solomon’s place! “Whatever you want…” God said. How would you have answered?

We’d all like to think we would have answered honorably. Truthfully, though, we likely would have answered the way that God describes in verse 11. Our sinful nature would have asked for unlimited wealth or a long life or that someone who has hurt us gets hurt just as badly. Yet, all of those things are selfish. They only seek to serve us and not serve God.

Solomon realized the great responsibility placed before him as the king God chose for his people. So he asked God for the wisdom to choose between right and wrong. Solomon knew that he would choose poorly if left to himself. So he asked for God’s blessing to choose wisely. And God was pleased.

Each and every day we face a battle. We battle between choosing what God wants and what our sinful nature wants. If left to ourselves, our sinful nature would always win. But we are not left to ourselves. Because of Jesus’ saving work, we have been given the Holy Spirit. He works in us through his Word to help us choose what God wants, to discern between right and wrong. He strengthens us by the power of the gospel so that we can show our thankfulness to God for all that he’s done for us. And there’s nothing better we could ask for!

Prayer: 

Gracious Savior, thank you for giving us your Spirit that we might distinguish between right and wrong and in so doing, serve you in thankfulness. 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 - August 19, 2014

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Romans 8:28-30

You can be an Optimist

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you see the glass half full or half empty? Are you the kind of person who can find a rainbow hiding behind every stormy cloud? It seems that most people tend to lean in one direction or the other. But is there really any basis for optimism? How do we know that everything is going to work out, or that things will get better, or that everything we experience is really for our good?

Without faith in Jesus there really is no basis. Things could just as well turn out for the worse. There really is no reason that they should get better or be for our good. But Jesus changes everything. That’s why the apostle Paul confidently wrote, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.”

How do we know this? We know this because God backs his wonderful promise up with an unbreakable chain of proof. In eternity God chose us to be his very own. Before we were even born God knew us and planned in advance to conform us to the likeness of his Son. His love in Christ began even before he created the universe when he decided to send Jesus to take up the sin of the world and pay for it, so that as God’s dear children together with Jesus we can share in the boundless blessings of eternal life.

God works for the good of those who love him and the proof extends from eternity into the here and now when God called us through the gospel. Through the good news of a Savior from sin God creates faith in people’s hearts. It is through this faith that he justifies us by declaring us not guilty of sin. This is how he glorifies believers right now and will one day glorify them forever in heaven.

“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” You can be sure of it. Because of Jesus you can be sure of it, even when you suffer all kinds of pain and disappointment in this life. You can be sure of it, even when your friends disappoint and relationships dissolve. You can be sure of it, even when your body begins to wear out and your energy fades. You can be sure because God has done everything to make you sure. Because of God’s great love for us, we can be optimists.

Prayer: 

Dear heavenly Father, when things in life get me down and I struggle to find hope, point me to your promises in Jesus Christ and assure me of your constant love and compassion. 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 - August 18, 2014

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

Matthew 13:44-46


Eureka! Perhaps you heard about the husband and wife who found $10 million in rare gold coins buried on their property in Northern California. Don’t people dream of finding great treasure? Jesus apparently thought so as he taught: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure…”

He tells about someone who fortunately finds buried treasure. In ancient times, rich people were known to divide their wealth into three parts: one for doing business, another converted to precious stones with which to flee if necessary, a third part to be buried in a safe place. So it could happen that when a rich man died, his buried wealth would remain to be found by some fortunate individual.

In the second brief story, Jesus speaks of a pearl merchant whose life’s mission was to seek out exceptional pearls and obtain them.

Some tirelessly seek to get treasure and others just fortunately find it.  But the most valuable treasure is that which Jesus has for us. This treasure Jesus tells us is the “kingdom of heaven.” The kingdom is Jesus’ rule in our hearts by faith. When Jesus rules our hearts, when our faith is in him, then we have the treasure of the forgiveness of sins, of spiritual life and eternal salvation—we will enjoy the glories of heaven forever.

Still, we don’t have to wait to enjoy this precious treasure. With faith in Jesus comes the peace of knowing we are God’s dear children right now, the hope of present certainty for a blessed future, and the joy of knowing God loves us today, tomorrow and always.

So whether you stumble upon earthly treasure or spend your life seeking after it, what really matters is that you have the treasure of Jesus. It’s worth giving up everything to make it your own.

Prayer: 

Lord, lead us to the treasure that is Jesus and help us to treasure that treasure above all things. 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 - August 15, 2014

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Proverbs 14:12


Dear Sara,

I’m worried about you.

I can hear you saying right now, “Dad, don’t worry. I’ve thought about this long and hard. I’m making a good decision. I’ll be OK.”

With all the love in my heart, Sara, I have to disagree. This is not a good decision.  And you will not be OK.

I know you’ve put a lot of thought into this. I know you’re excited about this new experience. I know it feels right to you. I know you’re convinced this is the right thing to do.

Despite your feelings, this is wrong. This isn’t me speaking, but your God has made his will pretty clear. You are deciding to sin. No matter how it feels to you, your feelings don’t change the reality of God’s will.

I know from personal experience how you can be so absolutely sure you’re doing the right thing and be wrong. Before Mom and I married, we lived together. We were young and very much in love. We didn’t want to rush getting married. Our friends look back and think everything turned out great for us.

No one but your mom and I know the full story. They don’t know the spiritual struggles and guilty consciences that affected our relationship with each other and with our God because we lived together before marriage. We almost lost our faith, and would have, if God had not remained faithful to us when we were unfaithful to him. We had been so convinced we were doing the right thing.

Just like you’re thinking right now. You think you can live in disagreement with God without it affecting your relationship with him.

Is this how you want your relationship with God to be? You contradict him. You ignore his will. You claim you know better than he does about what is good and right for you. Yet you still want his friendship and love. You still want his forgiveness. You demand he accepts you on your terms, even though he paid all the costs to make you his child. It is as if you are spitting in Jesus’ face on the cross, telling him he’s not as important to you as this decision you’re making. You expect him to make you his top priority when he is not yours.

Sara, God still loves you and so do I. Now is not the time to follow what seems right to you. Now is the time to listen to the God who made you inside your mother’s womb, who gave you life, who has richly blessed you, and most of all, who has given his life for you. Listen to his wisdom. He’s never wrong. He will never lead you down a pleasant path that leads to death. He walked the road of death for you already. Now he wants to lead you on the path of life. Listen to him. Listen to his promise of forgiveness and love. His Word will steer you down the right road as he continues to forgive you and bless you in undeserved love.

You are in my prayers and in God’s heart.

Love, Dad

Prayer: 

Father, forgive my stubborn steps down paths that seem right to me, but are wrong in your sight. Forgive my sins and lead me with your clear Word. Amen.

“Summer with Solomon” is a special series of Daily Devotions on Thursday and Friday based on readings from the book of Proverbs.

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 - August 14, 2014

He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

Proverbs 13:24

Loving, Careful Discipline

Being a parent is very great privilege. Being a parent is also a very difficult job! It’s hard to strike the balance between protecting your children and letting them spread their wings in a sometimes scary world. It’s hard to strike the balance between letting your children have fun and making them abide by the rules. It’s hard to strike the balance between being your children’s friend and being their life’s teacher.  We know it is important to discipline our children, but we also want to balance that with what Colossians 3:21 says, “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”

We all need discipline because we have a sinful nature that needs to be continually trained. It is especially vital in a child’s formative years to receive discipline. Sinful habits formed in childhood will be even more difficult to break in adulthood. For their own personal benefit and for the benefit of society children should receive careful discipline so they become humble, hard-working, ethical adults who strive to serve God and serve others with their lives. While children might not appreciate the disciplinary training their parents give them, later in life they will appreciate that their parents loved them in that way.

Key words in this Bible verse are “loves” and “careful”. . .”he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”  God calls upon parents to carefully discipline their children out of love for them.  If discipline—in whatever form it is administered—is not motivated by the love and care of parents for their children, it can lead to choices that are detrimental and sinfully wrong.  The goal of discipline is to help children mature and lead more God-pleasing and productive lives, and ultimately that children are trained spiritually and spend eternity in heaven through faith in their Savior Jesus.

Parents, pray for wisdom to be able to lovingly and carefully discipline your children.

Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, help parents to love their children to carefully discipline them for their earthly and eternal benefit. Amen.

“Summer with Solomon” is a special series of Daily Devotions on Thursday and Friday based on readings from the book of Proverbs.

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