<![CDATA[SAINTJOHNLUTHERAN EMPORIAVA.COM - Daily Devotion]]>Mon, 21 Oct 2019 10:48:47 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Jesus is the Light that exposes all evil.]]>Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:29:32 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/jesus-is-the-light-that-exposes-all-evil10-21-19
My wife and I are back from a vacation in Europe, so I can now restart the daily devotions. Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 37:3-6.

Trust in the LORD and do good;
live in the land and be safe.
Seek your happiness in the LORD,
and he will give you your heart’s desire.
Give yourself to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will help you;
he will make your righteousness shine like the noonday sun.”

As chosen children of God, our right relationship with the Lord has a brightness which illuminates those who are living in the darkness of sin. The psalmist calls on you to trust the Lord and act on that trust, to seek happiness in him, to give yourself to him today.

As you trust in the Lord Jesus, serve others, seek fulfillment in him, and give yourself to him and his will, you will shine the life-giving light of Christ on all those around you. Their response to the light you shine could go either way—either warm reception or cold dismissal. Whether they accept the light is not up to you. You are only to shine for you are given the good news that, as you shine, the Lord Jesus will give you your heart’s desire.

Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things thank you for your Son, Jesus, the bright morning star who has shone his love into my heart. Help me to trust you, give myself to you and shed your light on people around me today. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. ​]]>
<![CDATA[Jesus, the Good Shepherd]]>Fri, 04 Oct 2019 11:48:28 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/jesus-the-good-shepherd10-4-19
Today’s devotion is based on Luke 15:1-6. “One day when many tax collectors and other outcasts came to listen to Jesus, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law started grumbling, ‘This man welcomes outcasts and even eats with them!’ So Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them; what do you do? You leave the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and go looking for the one that got lost until you find it. When you find it, you are so happy that you put it on your shoulders and carry it back home.’”

Jesus said, ‘The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’ He is relentless, indefatigable in his search for human souls. When he found you and took you into his arms, all of heaven rejoiced at the news! That’s how precious you are to him. He would go to the ends of the universe to keep you as his own precious possession.

Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, thank you for watching over your people and protecting them from Satan’s temptations. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. ​]]>
<![CDATA[The Word of God is life]]>Thu, 03 Oct 2019 12:34:16 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/the-word-of-god-is-life10-3-19
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-- whatever they do prospers.”

God’s word is the life-giver—as vital to every person as water is to life in the desert. As you study God’s word, you will find life everlasting within. What’s more, you will stand out like green vegetation in a world thirsty for God’s love in Jesus. You will also bear the fruit of God’s word in your life with others. So don’t neglect reading God’s word. It is a God-given source of life in our world.

Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things thank you, Father, for the gift of your life-giving word. Help me to meditate on this word both day and night, so that I may lack no good thing. Give me a spirit and open heart to hear what you say. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
​]]>
<![CDATA[God's Word is our roadmap to heaven]]>Wed, 02 Oct 2019 12:10:59 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/gods-word-is-our-roadmap-to-heaven​10-2-19
Today’s devotion is based on Luke 16:29-31. “Abraham said, “Your brothers have Moses and the prophets to warn them; your brothers should listen to what they say.” The rich man answered, “That is not enough, father Abraham! But if someone were to rise from death and go to them, then they would turn from their sins.” But Abraham said, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone were to rise from death.”
God has left you to find out about him on your own.  He has given you the bible to show you the way. The whole Bible; the history, the commandments, the prophetic books, the psalms and poetry, the gospel accounts, the letters of the apostles, the apocalyptic books all point to Jesus Christ. Jesus—who suffered, died, rose again, ascended into glory—he is the only way to God and life after death.
Please pray with me the prayer for today.  Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, thank you for causing the words of the Bible to be written down.  It is the only way I can know you, your will for us, and my need for you.  Give me a spirit and open heart to hear what you say.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. 
]]>
<![CDATA[Be still so that you can hear the voice of God]]>Tue, 01 Oct 2019 11:41:08 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/be-still-so-that-you-can-hear-the-voice-of-god​10-1-19
Today’s devotion is based on 1 Samuel 3:8-10. “The Lord called Samuel a third time; he got up, went to Eli, and said, ‘You called me, and here I am.’ Then Eli realized that it was the LORD who was calling the boy, so he said to him, ‘Go back to bed; and if he calls you again, say, “Speak, LORD, your servant is listening.” So Samuel went back to bed. The LORD came and stood there, and called as he had before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!”
There are two things you can learn from this passage.  The first is that Samuel was still. God spoke his living word to Samuel when Samuel was resting. He was lying in bed in the still of the night when he was enabled to hear God speaking his word to him. Could it be that God is prompting us to rest in him during the worship service on Sunday?
The other thing needed is an attitude of openness to God’s word. That’s not always easy, because we tend to gravitate towards our own voices. Could it be that the Lord is encouraging us to seek his voice with complete openness and trust, even in the words of a human pastor in a pulpit?
Please pray with me the prayer for today.  Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things thank you, thank you Lord for being both patient and persistent delivering your words of love and salvation. Give me a spirit and open heart to hear what you say.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. 
]]>
<![CDATA[God knows what is best for us]]>Mon, 30 Sep 2019 12:21:04 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/god-knows-what-is-best-for-us9-30-19
Today’s devotion is based on 1 Samuel 8:5-9. “They said to him, "You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them, but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights."

The priesthood had failed in their governance of the people of Israel. Self-enrichment and power was the name of the game. The people through their elders needed a change, so they demanded a new government, one that was like all their neighbors. Samuel was not happy with the request because he knew that it was a rejection of God’s management and care of the people. God told him that was nothing new for that is what they have done since he brought them out of Egypt.

As I read this I wondered what does God do with us when we call his management of the world out of style and search for new governance? He lets us have what we want but still never leaves us just like he never left Israel in their bad decision making! We have His assurance.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things thank you, Lord, for never deserting us when we have decided that your way is not right. Help me to trust your Word for guidance. Than you for staying with me when I make wrong decisions. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. ​]]>
<![CDATA[Jesus took our place]]>Fri, 27 Sep 2019 13:29:11 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/jesus-took-our-place9-27-19
Today’s devotion is based on Hebrews 2:14 “Since the children have flesh and blood, Jesus too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death; that is the devil.”

There is an old Christian illustration that helps understand the text for today. It is a picture of a fishhook which is baited with an earthworm. The fishhook is Jesus’ divinity. The earthworm is Jesus humanity. The devil swallowed them both when Jesus died and was buried. When Jesus rose from the grave, he burst from the hold of the devil. What we learn from this is just as the devil couldn’t hold on to Christ in death, so the devil can’t hold on to those who believe in Jesus.

Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things thank you for sending your Son to live his life perfectly according to the Law. Thank you for his resurrection so that we now know that we too will be resurrected from our graves. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.]]>
<![CDATA[Jesus alone fulfills the Law]]>Thu, 26 Sep 2019 17:17:34 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/jesus-alone-fulfills-the-law9-26-19
Today’s devotion is based on John 1:15-17 “(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, "This is the one I spoke about when I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' Out of his fullness, we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

John wanted to make a point about God’s Laws. God’s Laws, as they are given through Moses, are laws that if followed would lead a person to live a righteous and good life, but could not lead us to be declared righteous before God. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, has enabled us to be declared righteous before God. The Law no longer condemns but encourages us to live righteous and good lives knowing that Jesus Christ has given us what God’s Law could not.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things thank you for sending your Son to live his life perfectly according to the Law. Thank you that even though he lived a perfect life his sacrifice on the cross made us righteous before You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. ​]]>
<![CDATA[God chooses who is in his Church]]>Tue, 24 Sep 2019 16:11:49 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/god-chooses-who-is-in-his-church9-24-19
Today’s devotion is based on Ephesians 3:12-15, “In him and through faith in him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.”

Quite often, those without faith imagine that God is a heavenly enlargement of the things we value and fear hear on earth. The exact opposite is true. The whole earth is a reflection of God, for everything belongs to God. The same is true of the Christian Church. While it looks to us like the Church is made up by our choosing to associate with others, it is work of God choosing to bring people together into his Church.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, you can do so much more than we can pray for or imagine, help me to recognize that your ways are not my ways so that I will stay strong in faith. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
​]]>
<![CDATA[Jesus wants us to be smart in the use of our wealth.]]>Mon, 23 Sep 2019 11:53:12 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/jesus-wants-us-to-be-smart-in-the-use-of-our-wealth9-23-19
Today’s devotion is based on Luke 16:8,9: “As a result, the master of this dishonest manager praised him for doing such a shrewd thing; because the people of this world are much more shrewd in handling their affairs than the people who belong to the light.’ And Jesus went on to say, ‘And so I tell you: make friends for yourselves with worldly wealth so that when it gives out, you will be welcomed in the eternal home.’”

Jesus calls you to be smart in the management of wealth. Misused wealth is an outrage in the sight of God. But when you use wealth smartly for the good of others, you gain their friendship which could mean that they will become Christian and thus join you in heaven.

Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, give me a wised mind to manage the wealthy you have entrusted me with for the good of others, so that they may be blessed both now and in eternity. All glory and honor are given to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
​]]>