Jesus, the name above all names
Today's devotion is based on Acts 2:21, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Some names can make you smile, laugh, and bathe in warm memories. Other names may have the power to make you wince and grow silent. That is how potent a name can be. That brings us to the most powerful name there is. When you and I take even a moment to meditate on the name of our Lord, his truth and beauty arise. There is his goodness, his justice, his mercy, his faithfulness, his power, his wisdom, his eternity, and his glory. And there is his grace, his undeserved love for you and me in Jesus Christ.
And that's why the name of our Lord is something more. The name of our Lord is not simply a trigger that delivers to my mind all the profound truths His Word has revealed. The name of the Lord is the name that saves my soul.
Please pray with me: Lord Jesus, by your Spirit, move me to call on your name every single day. Amen.
Living in the presence o God
Today's devotion is based on 1 Thessalonians 5:6, “Let us not be like “others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.”
The Bible encourages us to live our life attentive to God’s action and refreshed by his presence. Paul talks about the end times and says that no one can predict the time of the Lord’s return, but knowing that he will return will change the way we live now. Our lives are shaped by the truth that God himself is invested in what happens to us now as we await the Day of the Lord. May his Spirit lead and comfort us.
Please pray with me: Dear Lord, thank you for the promise of your return and your presence. Clear our minds and calm our hearts as we live enlivened by your Spirit. Amen.
Fill me, Holy Spirit
Today's devotion is based on Acts 2:41: "Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day."
When the Holy Spirit revealed himself on that first Pentecost Sunday, the people of Jerusalem witnessed a dramatic miracle. They heard men speak languages they had never studied before.
Anyone who has attempted to learn another language will verify how amazing a miracle it was when those mostly unschooled disciples started speaking all the world's different languages—without ever cracking a book.
But, the greatest Pentecost miracle occurred later than all the rest. The Bible tells us that "about three thousand were added to their number that day." think of it! Three thousand people raised from death to life! Three thousand people added to God's workforce to carry out our Savior's Great Commission to "Go and make disciples of all nations." there was no comparison with the miracle of faith that the Holy Spirit worked through God's Word that day.
That greatest Pentecost miracle continues today. The Holy Spirit bolsters and strengthens our hearts when we hear and read God's Word. When we speak God's Word, the Spirit works to bring people from death to eternal life. When used with God's Word, a simple splash of water in Baptism, a morsel of bread, and a sip of wine in the Lord's Supper creates and strengthens God's gift of faith. The Holy Spirit continues the greatest Pentecost miracle as we use and share God's Word and sacraments.
Please pray with me: Holy Spirit, through your Word and sacrament, continue to work your miracle of faith in my heart. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Fill me, Holy Spirit
Today's devotion is based on Bible Verse: John 14:26, "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you."
The Holy Spirit is a beautiful gift from God, and He wants to be a part of your life. He is your guide, your counselor, and your friend. He is always with you, and He is always ready to help you. So, if you ever feel lost or alone, remember that the Holy Spirit is with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. So, open your heart to Him, and let Him fill you with His love.
Here are some ways to grow in the Holy Spirit:
Please join me in prayer: O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Finding comfort in Jesus
Today's devotion is based on 1 Thessalonians 4:18, "We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep."
So, what are the words that we should comfort one another with? First, Paul tells us that those that are 'asleep' in Jesus will rise again. How do we know this? Because Jesus died and rose again. In his resurrection, we have hope and can be comforted that our loved ones who are 'asleep in Jesus' will rise again. The death of a loved one is unbelievably sad, but it is not hopeless.
Please pray with me: Father, thank you that we can draw comfort from your words. Today, I lean into your faithfulness and draw comfort from the assurance that your plan is perfect and that I am yours. In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.
Looking forward to glory
Today's devotion is based on 1 Peter 5:10,11, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen."
Suffering during our journey through this life as we head toward heaven can be torturous. We do not tend to look fondly back on tough times. The road of suffering seems to go on forever. Too many times, we question God's goodness. "Lord, how is this good for me? Have you forgotten about me? Can you even put a stop to this?"
We must remember that God is always the same. He is always full of grace. He is always giving all his mercy to his children. He holds nothing back. If you doubt it, look to Jesus. Because of Jesus, you have a share in God's eternal glory. Your days of suffering will end. And when they do, God will be there to greet you.
Please pray with me: Lord Jesus, in my times of suffering, restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on 1 Thessalonians 4:11,12: "Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders."
In today's reading, Paul tells us how to behave appropriately before outsiders. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and King, unbelievers watch and wonder about what makes us who we are. We must speak and act with grace because unbelievers are listening and learning.
Please pray with me: Heavenly Father, I fall short of your standard every day. Forgive me, Lord. Today, with the help of your Holy Spirit, lead me in your ways so that I conduct myself wisely. Please help me be diligent, honest, steady and faithful as I do the work you have planned for me this day. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on 1 Peter 5:6,7: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
"I need help." are three of the most challenging words for anyone to say. They are a humble confession that I have limitations. I am not strong enough. I am not smart enough. I am not skilled enough. I am stuck and cannot see a way through this. But these three words are some of the most liberating words for anyone to say, especially when we know that they are said to can provide the help we need.
God can do anything by the power of his mighty hand. Picture Jesus reaching down to grab Peter's hand as that experienced fisherman floundered and flailed for his life in the Galilean Sea. Picture Jesus, at the appointed time, stretching his hands on the cross to die for a world of helpless sinners. So, go to God when you need help. He cares for you. It is who he is. It is what he does. Let him take care of it for you. At the proper time, he will help you. That is his promise.
Please pray with me: Gracious Lord, you are my capable and caring God. Please help me to humble myself before you, trusting that you will help me at the perfect time, in the perfect way. Amen.
Grateful followers of Jesus
Today's devotion is based on 1 Thessalonians 2:13, "And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers."
Walking in a manner that is worthy of God is not easy. It can – and does – occur amid conflict and suffering. But as a grateful and devoted follower, it can be joyful. There are days when I just need to put one foot in front of the other and step through what God wants me to do today. I can resist, complain, procrastinate, become stubborn or anxious, and I can protest and argue.Or I can accept, submit, trust, follow, and obey. That choice is always mine. Irrespective of which choice I make, I still need to do what it is that God wants me to do. My choice only influences my experience – it doesn't change God's will. So, what I choose impacts whether I experience joy or misery. What choices are you going to make today as you live in God's grace?Please pray with me: Heavenly Father, your way is narrow, but your plan is perfect. Help me submit to – and obey – you in all you ask me to do today. Help me to be an accepting and grateful follower of Jesus. Remind me to daily show the people I love that I joyfully appreciate and love them. In Jesus' precious name, I pray. Amen.
Power from above
Today's devotion is based on Luke 24:49, "I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."
In Luke's account of Jesus' ascension, these are the last recorded words of Jesus. Shortly before (in John 16:7), Jesus talks to his disciples about how he will shortly be leaving them, and he says, 'It's better that I go because then I will send you the Holy Spirit.'
So finally (a few short weeks later), the day has come when Jesus ascends into heaven. I think if I were one of the disciples that day, I would find it hard to be happy that Jesus has just left, anticipating something better. What can possibly fill the gap left behind now that Jesus is no longer here in person?
This question was answered dramatically ten days later on the day of Pentecost. The promised Spirit comes, and the church is birthed! Pentecost ushered in a pretty dramatic change for the disciples, and they became people marked by joy and boldness. The same men and women who hid in the upper room (for fear of the Jews) were so filled with joy that they were irrepressible. We certainly need the same power from on high.
Please pray with me: Thank you, Lord, for sending the Spirit to clothe us with power from on high. I need this so much, Lord. Please help me to live a life pleasing to you! Amen.