DAILY DEVOTIONS

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Daily Devotions

  • Faithful Pastors – July 19, 2024

    He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
    Titus 1:9

    Faithful Pastors

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    Daily Devotion – July 19, 2024

    Devotion based on Titus 1:9

    See series: Devotions

    If you could design the perfect pastor, what would he be like? He would probably be a man who was wise, eloquent, and clever. A go-getter who would run the church like an expert CEO. People would come from miles around to hear him speak. Because of him, members who hadn’t come to services in years would return by the truckload, and the church’s offerings would increase by two hundred fifty percent. He would be someone who could single-handedly save your church.

    While there is nothing wrong with eloquence and crack management skills, there is one characteristic that every pastor must have, and we often take for granted. In his letter to a young pastor named Titus, the apostle Paul makes it clear that the Lord wants pastors who firmly hold to the trustworthy message as it has been taught in the Bible. In other words, God doesn’t want men who single-handedly save the church. He wants men who proclaim the Savior of the Church.

    Is there any other better characteristic to have? The Bible’s trustworthy message is centered on God’s incomprehensible love for us. It is beyond understanding that the Son of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14). It’s even more beyond understanding that the enfleshed Son of God became obedient to death on a cross for your sins (Philippians 2:8). It is a mystery that he rose from the dead, and it is beyond our comprehension how he will raise us, too, but he will!

    There’s no such thing as a perfect pastor. What we need are faithful pastors who use that trustworthy message to encourage those who need to hear it and refute those who oppose it. Christ answered for all our sins on the cross and rose from the dead, and faithful pastors deliver that sound doctrine to us so that we have no doubt where we stand with God.

    Prayer:
    Lord of the Church, help pastors stay faithful to their calling and to love your Word and your people. 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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  • What’s Your Motivation? – July 18, 2024

    Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there.” . . . Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”
    Amos 7:12,14,15

    What’s Your Motivation?

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    Daily Devotion – July 18, 2024

    Devotion based on Amos 7:12,14,15

    See series: Devotions

    It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book: ignore the message by discrediting the messenger. God had sent Amos to call his people to repentance, and Amaziah ignored Amos’ message by accusing him of being a professional who was only concerned about himself.

    That kind of thing happens a lot. Christians speak the truth about sin and are called unloving for their trouble. That’s why staying quiet is often easier than confronting someone with their sin.

    The problem is that God does not save people by your silence; he saves people by his truth. So what motivates you? Concern for yourself or concern for others?

    God may not have called you to be a prophet, but prophets are not the only ones who share God’s truth. Every Christian gets to do that. And if you’re only concerned about yourself, that would be very difficult to do.

    Amos made it clear that he was not a professional prophet. He was a shepherd who would still be at his farm if the Lord hadn’t said, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” In other words, Amos didn’t ask to be a prophet; that’s what God made him.

    Something similar happened with you. You didn’t ask God to declare Jesus guilty of every sin you’ve ever committed, nor did you ask him to punish Jesus for all those sins instead of you. But he did because he loves you.

    He made you someone who listens to him, so listen to what he has to say: sin is serious and separates us from him, but Jesus is the solution to the sin problem. God grant that people will hear Jesus’ Word from your mouth so that they will see Jesus in heaven.

    Prayer:
    Lord, give me a genuine concern for the spiritual welfare of others. 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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  • What They Need to Hear – July 17, 2024

    Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: “Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. For this is what Amos is saying: ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will surely go into exile.’”
    Amos 7:10,11

    What They Need to Hear

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    Daily Devotion – July 17, 2024

    Devotion based on Amos 7:10,11

    See series: Devotions

    The Prophet Amos lived about 800 years before Christ. The twelve tribes of Israel had been a united country under their first three kings, but then there was a civil war, and they split into two separate countries: Israel in the north and Judah in the south.

    By the time Amos came along, the divided kingdom had been going on for almost two hundred years. In the northern kingdom, things were going well. The economy was roaring, their territory was increasing, and the people of Israel appeared very religious.

    But there was a problem: It was all fake. Yes, there was prosperity, but there was also social injustice and oppression. Their country had a veneer of piety, but it was not in service to the true God. They worshiped God in ways that he had forbidden, and they also worshiped false gods along with him.

    Enter Amos. Amos was from the southern kingdom, but God sent him north to preach. He pointed out the nation’s sins and warned them that if they did not return to the Lord, they would be exiled to a foreign land.

    His message was not well received. He was accused of being a political revolutionary and reported to the king. But what was Amos supposed to say? If they were sorry for their sin, God would tell Amos to forgive them. But they were not sorry, so he couldn’t. They needed to hear the consequences of their actions. God pleaded with them to stop walking down the road that led to hell.

    It’s a lesson worth remembering: when it comes to sin, you may not always be able to tell people what they want to hear, but you can always tell them what they need to hear. Sin has serious consequences, and we have a serious Savior who took those consequences upon himself to forgive us. Like Amos, we can proclaim, “Repent and believe the good news!”

    Prayer:
    Lord Jesus, give me strength when I tell people what they need to hear about their sin. 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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  • Unbelievable Trust – July 16, 2024

    These were Jesus’ instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
    Mark 6:8-11

    Unbelievable Trust

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    Daily Devotion – July 16, 2024

    Devotion based on Mark 6:8-11

    See series: Devotions

    Can you imagine going on a long business trip without taking along any luggage, food, or money? It would be unthinkable, right?

    But that’s what Jesus told his twelve disciples to do. When he sent them out on a preaching trip in groups of two, he told them to take along nothing but a walking stick, the clothes on their back, and the sandals on their feet.

    It’s unthinkable, right? Why would he make such a big demand of them? Because he was teaching them to trust God to provide. They were to have complete trust that God would provide the food, shelter, and protection they needed day by day.

    He did this through the generosity of those who believed their message and opened their homes to them. This freed the disciples from worrying about the necessities of life so they could spend their time sharing the message of eternal life.

    This message, however, would not be appreciated by everyone. Some would reject it. When that happened, the disciples were to shake that place’s dust off their feet as a warning that God would reject anyone who rejects the messengers of his Son. How could he not? God’s messengers are sent with his authority and rejecting them is tantamount to rejecting him (Luke 10:16).

    And where do we fit into all this? You may not be one of the twelve original disciples, but Jesus also commands you to proclaim his Word and trust him to provide for your needs.

    You can expect the same divine care the disciples received, as well as the same mixed reception. Like the disciples, you are responsible for speaking the Word, and God is responsible for the results. So anchor your trust in the Savior who sends you with his authority and rules all things for your good.

    Prayer:
    Dear Jesus, help me trust your provision and care. 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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  • Are You Up to the Task? – July 15, 2024

    Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. . . They went out and preached that people should repent.
    Mark 6:7,12

    Are You Up to the Task?

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    Daily Devotion – July 15, 2024

    Devotion based on Mark 6:7,12

    See series: Devotions

    It is easy for Christians to look at the world around them and become discouraged. Sin is spreading, hostility toward biblical truth is intensifying, and lies about the nature of God and humanity are spreading like wildfire. So many people unknowingly follow the devil, who wants only to devour them (1 Peter 3:8). What should we do about it?

    To answer that question, look at what Jesus did. He had been teaching and preaching all over Galilee. Wherever he went, he encountered spreading sin, hostility to the truth, and lies about God. So, what did he do? He sent out the twelve apostles with special authority to tell lost sinners who were unknowingly following Satan to turn away from their sin and believe in Jesus as their Savior.

    That is the task Jesus gave the Twelve, and it’s the same one he gives to you. It’s the only solution to the problem. Are you up to the task?

    Maybe you’re thinking, “Absolutely not! The Twelve had special training from Jesus, but I’m just an ordinary person.” Jesus may not have given you authority over impure spirits, but he has given you the gospel, which is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

    That good news is as powerful today as it was when Jesus first sent out the Twelve. The gospel declares that Jesus lived perfectly for you, sacrificed that perfection on the cross, and rose from the dead to declare you perfect in God’s sight. That message is the only thing that can stop sinners from following the devil and follow Christ instead.

    It’s the solution to the problem, and every Christian has it! Every Christian has the authority to speak in Jesus’ name and to tell sinners to repent and believe the good news (Mark 1:15). Jesus does not send you without first equipping you, and he has already given you everything you need for this task.

    Prayer:
    Son of God, my Savior, thank you for entrusting me with the gospel that forgives me and equips me to serve you. 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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  • Repent! – July 14, 2024

    They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
    Mark 6:12,13

    Repent!

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    Daily Devotion – July 14, 2024

    Devotion based on Mark 6:12,13

    See series: Devotions

    The message Jesus told his disciples to proclaim was simple. They were to tell people to repent. It’s a message that is still important for us to hear today.

    Repentance is a change of mind about our sins and relationship with God. So, God applies his law to our lives. The law demands that our every thought, word, and action be perfect. Under that kind of scrutiny, we are crushed under the enormity of our sin. God leads us to realize how impossible it is to save ourselves. He makes it clear that, as sinners, we deserve to be eternally separated from him and his love.

    God’s law is not the last word, though. He comforts us with news that our sins are forgiven through Jesus. This good news is the power of God that brings us to faith in the Savior Jesus and fills us with the joy of living forever with God.

    Repentance is God’s saving activity that he does for us through his Word. It makes us sorry for sinning against God and grateful that he has saved us from those sins through our Savior. Thank God for his gift of repentance!

    Prayer:
    Heavenly Father, help me pay close attention to your law so I see my sin and its seriousness. Fill me with the joyous sounds of your gospel, which comfort me with salvation through faith in Jesus. Give me a hunger for your Word so I am eager to hear it often. 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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  • No Confusion – July 13, 2024

    “Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
    Mark 6:3

    No Confusion

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    Daily Devotion – July 13, 2024

    Devotion based on Mark 6:3

    See series: Devotions

    Many people today are confused about Jesus. Was he only a great man or really God? Did he have a family? Can we know anything about him for sure, with so many legends floating around?

    If you’re confused, you have good company. The neighbors who watched Jesus grow up and the kids who played with him were confused. Was Jesus really a miracle worker? How could he be? He was just an ordinary man. Where did he get off claiming miracles? They were confused and offended by his claims.

    Jesus wasn’t confused about who he was. He was the son of Mary. He was also the Son of God—not in a metaphysical or allegorical sense, but in a real, true sense. Jesus was man and God. The Bible makes this very clear.

    Jesus wasn’t confused about what he came to do. He came specifically to live in our place and die in our place. He came to provide forgiveness of sins for all people—whether they accepted him or not, whether they recognized their sins or not. He had come to save the human race.

    He included you in his plans. He is your God. He became a human being to live and die for you. God accepts you because of Jesus. One day, you will get to meet Jesus face-to-face. There won’t be any confusion. You’ll be looking at your God, who gave his life for you!

    Prayer:
    Jesus, don’t let me fall for any untruths that try to make me believe you’re only a human being or that your life is just a myth. While your free forgiveness sounds too good to be true, strengthen my faith to know it is reality until I can see you with my own eyes! 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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