Today's devotion is based on Psalm 72:18-19, "Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory ."
How was your week? Have you much to be grateful for? Or maybe you had a week that you would like to forget about. Whatever week you have had, join in with the writer of Psalm 72 and say, 'Praise be to the Lord God who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise his glorious name forever.
You might say that is great, and you can praise God for that but wonder how it helps you now. Jesus says to you, 'I am with you always. Let me carry you, for I will give you rest from your burden' In your trouble and in your joy, call on God's name, for in doing so, you are praising him.
Please pray with me, Heavenly Father, change my heart when I don't see what marvelous things you have done and continue to do in me and through me. Refresh my soul with your Spirit and show me anew the blessings you give me daily. Open my mouth so I may sing of your goodness and praise you all the days of my life. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Isaiah 43:1, "But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine."
The Old Testament is as much about us as it is about Christ. When the promises were fulfilled, and the purpose God had for Israel was fulfilled, Israel's long history was completed. Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly, something the people of Israel could not do.
We can know this when Saint Paul writes that it was written regarding the people of Israel, especially their time in the desert; he could say with certainty that it was written for our sake. Today's verse shows this: God has called you by name. You are his, just as the people of Israel in their history were his. They were made his by the act of circumcision. We are made his by the act of Baptism. Both circumcision and Baptism sets believers apart from those of the world.
In your Baptism, God's purpose was started. Just as earthly parents desire to care and provide for their children, God desires to care and provide for those who are his through Baptism. That is why every Christian should believe in the verse from Isaiah today, especially when they are besieged by doubt or trouble. God created you. God formed you. God has named you. Thus, you are his.
Please pray with me: Lord, help me to remember that I did not choose you. You chose me; thus, I know without a doubt that I am yours. In Jesus' blessed name, I pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on Romans 13:11, “Besides this, you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep, for salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.”
My old sinful self—the part of me that wants nothing to do with Christ—wants to keep my soul sleepy and indifferent. It wants to keep my soul, presuming I have all the time in the world to get serious about the only Savior I’m ever going to have. And in doing so, we have given in to Satan’s lie that when it comes to any intentional focus upon our Savior-King—there is no hurry.
Thanks be to God that he pursues us through his Word. He calls us to repentance. He does what he needs to do to rattle us, rouse us, and wake us up. When the final day comes for each of us, he does not want us left outside. He wants us to be awake. He wants us to be with him. He wants us to bask forever in the complete forgiveness our King has purchased for us at the cross.
Please pray with me, Lord Jesus, my King; forgive me for all the times I have allowed myself to become sleepy and indifferent towards you. Refresh me in your law and gospel, so I stay focused only on you. In your blessed name, I pray. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Philippians 4:6,7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
You and I live in an anxious culture. Anxiety, however, is nothing new. Since our fall into sin, there has been more than enough to make people anxious.
Paul gives the godly alternative to anxiety, godly release. He writes, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, . . . with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Then, Paul promises, God's peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
And so, it all comes back to Jesus. Not only has the Son of God lived a life of perfect trust on our behalf, but not only has our Savior and King suffered and died for all the ways we have sought sinful escapes. He now invites us to open up to him about everything. And as we do, he promises us peace from him that surpasses all understanding.
Please pray with me: Lord Jesus, when I feel anxious, move me to open up to you so that I will receive your peace. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on Isaiah 2:3b, “He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”
God wants us to learn from him – to learn his ways and walk in his Word, Jesus Christ. In a world hungry for spirituality and meaning, let us live out our Christian spirituality and life in the spirit of Jesus Christ.
When the devil says to you, ‘See your shame, guilt, and failure. See how you are not worthy of God’s love. See how you could never get it right; it is then that Jesus speaks for us and in us. ‘You are loved, you are valuable, you have hope, you are forgiven, and you are mine.’
Jesus, our Good Shepherd, leads us on the path of righteousness for his name’s sake. So, listen to the soft voice of the Lord when he says, ‘Follow me, and I will lead you and guide you. You are mine.
Please pray with me: God of grace, you want to teach me your ways, so I may walk in your truth forever. Help me to follow your living Word, Jesus. Remind me that you want the best for me and that everything you teach me will not always be easy, but help me trust you as I follow where you lead me. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Isaiah 1:4, "They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him."
The truth God spoke through the prophet Isaiah gives us insight into human nature. We, God's chosen people, are just like the Israelites; God also chooses us to be his people, and yet we would rather put ourselves first, put others down, take a little more than we need, and live by the flesh. Our hearts are full of self and sinful desires. We tell ourselves that we are not as bad as others or don't sin, yet, sadly, we cannot save ourselves.
But the great news in all of this is that God had a plan a long time ago to heal our sinful, broken, diseased human hearts. Jesus rescues us from our sinful, corrupt hearts and recreates us daily through his word. In Jesus, you are new, no longer the old human but rather a saint washed in the blood of Jesus, and through the birth, death, and resurrection of our Lord, we have peace.
Please pray with me: Lord, thank you for washing me clean with the blood you shed for my sin. Thank you that you have changed my heart, making me whole again. Jesus, let me live for you as I live for others, sharing your love with them. Guide me daily by your holy presence so that all I meet will see your love for them through my words and deeds. In Jesus' blessed name, I pray. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Matthew 24:44, "So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, a time of spiritual preparation to not only celebrate Jesus' birth but to look forward to his return on Judgment Day when he welcomes all who believe into his eternal presence.
Are you ready for Jesus? The good news is that Jesus lives in us as a believer, and we live in him by his word. So, because we believe in him and live in him, we are ready for him no matter what time of day or year he comes. We are prepared and ready to receive the one who is coming, Jesus Christ.
If we had to try to get ourselves ready and free ourselves from sin, death, and the devil's power, we would never be prepared for Jesus. If we had to earn grace and the love of God, quite honestly, we would never be ready either; there would always be something left to do. What great joy there is in knowing that, simply by believing, you are ready for your Lord Jesus to come again.
Please pray with me, Dear Jesus; you have bought me with the blood you shed for my sins and won eternal life for me in your name. Thank you for making me ready to receive and welcome you when you return, for you live in me by faith. Give me eyes of faith to see you every day in your word and my life. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on Jeremiah 23:5,6: “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.”
In the days of the prophet Jeremiah, about 600 years before the birth of Jesus, many people of God’s chosen nation had turned away from God into unbelief. They followed false teachers and bad leaders that led them into idolatry. However, some people remained faithful to the true God. Through Jeremiah, God promised to gather all his faithful and bless them.
God cares for his people, and he saves them. He sent Jesus to do what is “just and right in the land.” In contrast to the people who rejected God and lived in disobedience to his will, Jesus lived in perfect obedience to the will of God and was guiltless of any sin. He lived this way for our benefit. God charged the perfect righteousness of his Son to us. He is THE LORD, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Please pray with me: Heavenly Father, thank you for the crown of life you promised us. Please help us stay faithful to you and serve you here on earth while we wait for our eternal heavenly life with you. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on Revelation 21:1, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”
I sometimes think of our earth and what humans have done and are doing to it. I also think of what we are doing and have done to each other. While I would love to be able to wave a magic wand or something to make it all perfect again, I know it will never happen because people, as I am, are imperfect and sinful.
I thank God for the new heaven and new earth that is coming. I try to imagine what the new heaven and earth will look like when this happens. I’ve seen pictures where people have tried to capture it. Some have said that it’s simply beyond our imagination and indescribable. All I know for sure is that I will be there, God will be there, and people that have gone there before me will be there too. I believe that, because God, through his Word, has told me.
Please pray with me: God of the universe, thank you that you will make all things new. Thank you for your promise of a whole new heaven and earth for us. Please use your Word to change our hearts and minds so that we will better care for this earth and each other. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Today we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is to be a day of fellowship and feasting for most people in our Country, along with watching football. In all the commotion, we need to stop and take a moment to thank God for all the blessings we enjoy.
Please join me as I pray the first nine verses of Psalm 107:1-9, "Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north and from the south. Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things." In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.