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10/18/18
Today’s devotion is based on Acts 27:22-25 where we hear Paul speak words of Encouragement and hope to a boat crew who believed they were going to die because of the storm they were riding out. “‘But now I beg you, take courage! Not one of you will lose your life; only the ship will be lost. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship came to me and said, “Don’t be afraid, Paul! You must stand before the Emperor. And God in his goodness to you has spared the lives of all those who are sailing with you!’ So take courage, men! For I trust in God that it will be just as I was told.’”
 
Sometimes you may feel that you are being tossed about in the chaos and turmoil that can occur in life. We don’t have a Paul to give us courage and hope, but we do have Jesus who in his death and resurrection overcame death, calling, “Have courage! Even if you die, you will live with me! My Father has given you to me, and I will take you with me to stand before my Father in heaven. No-one can snatch you out of my hands!”
Those words have gotten me through many trials and tribulations in life. I hope they will be your comfort and aid in your life.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, thank you for your words of comfort and hope in the Bible. Help me in the trials of life to remember your words so that I can have the peace that passes all understanding. I pray this, in Jesus name. Amen.

 
 
10/17/18
Today’s devotion is based on Mark 10:29,30.
“‘Yes,’ Jesus said to them, ‘and I tell you that those who leave home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property for me and for the gospel, will receive much more in this present age. They will receive a hundred times more houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property – and persecutions as well; and in the age to come they will receive eternal life.”
That is one hard saying, that is for sure. It is no wonder so many aren’t as committed as Jesus expects them to be! This passage isn’t really about what people are to do for God even though it starts out that way. It is really about how much we receive from God because we are part of the Christian community.
When we are truly part of the Christian community, we are truly blessed with people around us who are ‘like family’ to us. The Christian community is one where encouragement, support, love, and hospitality are par for the course. So even though we may become estranged from our families because of following Jesus, we don’t lose, for we have gained a place in a much larger family, the family of Christ.
 
The problem is that in many of our congregations we don’t even come close to living the way God wants congregations to live. This does not negate what Jesus is saying. It only shows how much we have missed the mark as a people of God. We need his strength, his forgiveness, his love to make us better people so that God’s glory is shown to all people by not just our life, but the lives of the people in the congregation.
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, thank you for adopting me into your family. Help me to become better at living the life you want me to live, so that people see your glory through me and the congregation I am part of on this earth. I ask this for the sake of Jesus. Amen.

 
 
 
10/16/18
Today’s devotion is based Psalm 90:13-15:
Fill us each morning with your constant love,
so that we may sing and be glad all our life.
Give us now as much happiness as the sadness you gave
during all our years of misery.
As I read this Psalm this morning, I started thinking about things that make people happy. Things like cars, boats, homes, relationships, extra money in the bank, the latest video games, season tickets to your favorite team, all come to mind. The list could go on and on, but in the end, they don’t bring true happiness. If you don’t believe this, ask yourself why you strive so hard to attain just that little bit more of what makes you happy? I think you will find the answer is that you are not as happy as you believe you are.
At the end of your life, will this continual striving after more and more happiness matter? It will not, for the things that bring true happiness are found in having the things of God that last beyond this lifetime. Instead of reaching for the stock market updates or the property lists, or checking out the advertisements for the latest things that promise happiness, be filled with words of God’s sure promises to you. In this way, even if your life is less than happy now, you can trust in God’s everlasting mercy and compassion. That sure hope is happiness that lasts.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Eternal God and Father, when I am searching for happiness in things and relationships, remind me through your Word that true happiness is only found in your love and forgiveness. Amen.

 
 
10/15/18
Today’s devotion is based on James 3:17,18. “But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy. And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace.”
Reverence for the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Today meditate more deeply on one of the fruits of the Spirit: peace. You can have ‘peace like a river’ as you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, your precious Redeemer. Through Christ’s work of redemption, God reconciled you to himself. He has given you peace in your heart with the assurance that your sins are forgiven. God enables you to be a peaceful, gentle and friendly person. The Lord wants more peacemakers in our community and our church fellowship.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, thank you for giving me your Holy Spirit so that I can have the peace that passes all understanding in the trials of life. Through your word and promises help me to be a peacemaker so that your glory will show through my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
10/12/18
Today’s devotion is based on Genesis 2:7,8. “Then the LORD God took some soil from the ground and formed a man out of it; he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils, and the man began to live. Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the East, and there he put the man he had formed.”
It is important to remember that God did not create robots, programmed to have any choice but to obey. Rather, he created human beings who knew God’s will but also had the freedom to decide whether or not to live within it.
God’s first humans living in a beautiful environment created just for them; living in harmony and equality with each other; with authority over God’s creatures and responsibility for their wellbeing, and last but certainly not least living in a good relationship with the Creator. That was God’s will, and yet in their freedom, they chose not to trust God.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Father, in Jesus, I am now your new creation. Help me through your Word to stay faithful to you so that in all I do I show your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

10/11/18
Today’s devotion is based on Acts 27:33-36, “Just before dawn, Paul begged them all to eat some food: ‘You have been waiting for fourteen days now, and all this time you’ve not eaten a thing. I beg you, then, eat some food; you need it to survive. Not even a hair of your heads will be lost.’ After saying this, Paul took some bread, gave thanks to God before them all, broke it, and began to eat. They took courage, and every one of them also ate some food.”
I love this story from Paul’s life. The waves he was encountering were real. They were dangerous, yet in the middle of it, he ate and encouraged others to eat bread so that they could sustain the storm.
The lesson for us is that when the waves of life are threating to overcome us, or you are grieved by death or loss, it easy to forget about partaking of the bread of life, God’s Word. God’s Word will get you through whatever storm you are going through, for in his word you will find hope and peace. That is a promise from God.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Dear heavenly Father, even when my troubles threaten to overcome me, help me to read and digest your words so that I can get through the storms of life and be brought safely to your shores of eternal life with you and all the saints. Amen.
 
10/10/18
Today’s devotion is based on Genesis 17:7,8. “‘I will keep my promise to you and your descendants in future generations as an everlasting covenant. I will be your God and the God of your descendants. I will give to you and your descendants this land in which you are now a foreigner. The whole land of Canaan will belong to your descendants forever, and I will be their God.”
As far back as I can remember I have loved the promise in these verses. While the promise does not directly apply to me, it does in that in and through my Baptism God gave me a new name; his name. In his new name, Abraham would always carry with him a reminder of God’s promise – and his promise to be faithful. We are baptized into the name of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and so we too in our Baptism carry with us a reminder of God’s promise to be faithful. Just as the covenant God made with Abraham will never cease, the covenant God made with us in our Baptism will never cease. It is an everlasting covenant.
And so like Abraham we live in the total security of being able to trust God’s promises. It is the security of knowing that ‘there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:39). For us, there is no looking back. God is with us; the past is forgiven; the future is an open book that God has already read.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, sustainer of all things, thank you for making me your child, and giving me your peace. Amen.

 
 
10/09/18
 
 Jesus’ love for the unworthy; that is sinners and the unlovable of society, is good news for us because our self-righteousness makes us unworthy before God.  What a joy it will be to sit with Jesus at the heavenly banquet table alongside all those who were made worthy because of Jesus’ love.
 
 
10/8/18
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 8:1
“O LORD, our Lord,
your greatness is seen in all the world!
Your praise reaches up to the heavens;
it is sung by children and babies.”
Have you ever had one of those moments when you’ve been given a glimpse of God’s greatness? It might have been when you were sitting quietly on a mountaintop, marveling at the expanse of God’s creation, or when you looked through a microscope and saw the wonders of God’s creative handiwork. It might even have been when you admired a newborn child and saw how intricately and wonderfully the child was made.
What is more remarkable is that God has chosen you and I to care for what he created. Despite our greed and selfishness, God still appointed us to look after his magnificent creation. Even though God alone has all power, creativity, and majesty, he has us to tend his wonders.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Dear heavenly Father, I marvel at your creation. Please help me to glorify your name as live in this wonderful world you made. Amen.

 10/5/18
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 19:12,13:
 
“None of us can see our own errors;
deliver me, LORD, from hidden faults!
Keep me safe, also, from willful sins;
don’t let them rule over me.
Then I shall be perfect
and free from the evil of sin.”
It’s very much like that with each of us. We are good at seeing the faults in others unless you are infatuated with someone, but seeing our own faults is another matter. That is why God gave us his mirror, the Law. This mirror lets you, and I have a good look at ourselves. It is not pretty, sort of like looking in a mirror the first thing in the morning shows our true self.
Jesus alone makes you perfect, for it is he alone has the power and the authority to make you be like him. He does this by forgiving you. That’s how you become perfect.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Thank you, God, for giving me your perfect Law, for in that law I see my true self. Thank you, Jesus, for your loving act taking the perfect wrath that I deserve upon your self so that I will be seen in perfection on Judgement Day. Help me to live my life showing your love and grace to all I interact with today. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
 
 
10/3/18
Today’s devotion is based on Genesis 7:1-3. “The LORD said to Noah, ‘Go into the boat with your whole family; I have found that you are the only one in all the world who does what is right. Take with you seven pairs of each kind of ritually clean animal, but only one pair of each kind of unclean animal. Take also seven pairs of each kind of bird. Do this so that every kind of animal and bird will be kept alive to reproduce again on the earth.’”
I wonder how Noah must have felt as he saw the water rise and people and animals drowning? He was unable to help them for the Ark was sealed. We live in a world that is, for the most part just as evil. Thanks be to God, we too live in a kind of ark since we are in fellowship with God, guaranteed eternal life, protected from the world around us as we live in the security of Christ’s body, the church.
That is wonderful good news. But unlike the sealed Ark, where none could enter, the ark we live in, God’s Church, is open to all who repent and are seeking the forgiveness of God. How do we feel as we look from the windows of our ark and see people around us drowning? Drowning in the sea of wickedness, hopelessness, despair, callousness, and apathy that is society today? As Christians, I hope we see them not as sinners that we are glad to be free from, but as people that Jesus died for just like he died so that we could be in his ark, the Christian church.
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, thank you for coming to this earth in the form of Jesus. He lived the life I cannot live. He who was without sin willingly out of love for humanity took your wrath upon himself so that those who believe in him will not bear your justified wrath. Help me, Father, to bring others into your ark so that they too will be saved. Amen.

 

10/2/18
Today’s devotion is based on Genesis 3:8-10 where we hear Adam’s answer to God after God asked where he was. “He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden; I was afraid and hid from you because I was naked.’”
What a very sad, but so very human, story this is! Conned by one of God’s creatures – a lesser being than themselves – two people decide to break free of God’s restrictions so they can be like him!
Then God comes and gives them both a chance to admit their wrong and to say sorry. Instead, the tempter is blamed, the woman is blamed, and worse of all God is blamed for as Adam said, “You made her.” Today, so many years later, we still do what Adam did by making other people and at times God responsible for our bad behavior into an art form. It is everyone else's fault, certainly not my fault, we think.
And so like Adam and Eve, we must be judged and found guilty. Their and our relationship with God is broken. What was so good is no more. At the very least it is a strained relationship. Our relationship with God’s creation is ruined. We cannot repair it. It has to come from outside ourselves, and that is where God steps in.
 
God acts graciously. Human beings, faced with an eternity of living as God’s enemies, are allowed to die, something he never wanted to happen. But death is no longer the end but the beginning of eternal life with God where we will live as he first intended us to live, in fellowship with him. A human story? Yes. But also an incredible story of the love of God.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father way too often I choose to do my own thing as I turn my back on your love. Thank you that you continue to call me by name even when I am turning away from you. Your love is beyond my comprehension and for that, I give you thanks for all you have done and continue to do in my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
 
10/1/18
Today’s devotion is based on Genesis 6:5-8 where we read, “When the LORD saw how wicked everyone on earth was and how evil their thoughts were all the time, he was sorry that he had ever made them and put them on the earth. He was so filled with regret that he said, ‘I will wipe out these people I have created, and also the animals and birds because I am sorry that I made any of them.’”
I thought of this passage this morning because I hear more and more Christians say things like, “Why doesn’t God just zap everything that is evil and let good people get on with living as he wants them to?” Of course, those they want to call God’s wrath on, are those who are not truly evil but includes those that don’t believe as they do.
I, for one, pray that God never does zap all those who are evil because we are evil and enemies of God by our very nature. Who does not at the very least think evil thoughts from time to time? I am not innocent, and I don’t see how anyone else, no matter how perfectly they live, is innocent either.
God made an exception of Noah and his family. Was it because he was never evil, never had wicked thoughts? Not if the passages after the Flood are to be taken seriously. God saved Noah and his family because they were in fellowship with God. Their lives and sacrifices came from their hearts knowing who they were. They trusted in God to care for them. That is how God still treats his people today. Because of what Jesus did for us, we too can live in fellowship with God again. Because of that, he allows us to live, not just for now but eternally.
So our prayers ought not to be for zapping those who are evil, for that is calling down God’s wrath on ourselves. Rather, our prayers should be prayers of gratitude for the forgiveness we have for when we still let God down, and prayers of encouragement to each other to urge those around us to learn how they too can ‘live in fellowship with God’
Please pray with me the prayer for today: I thank you, Father, that you do not treat me as I deserve to be treated. Thank you, Lord that you see me through, Jesus. All praise to you, for the gift of forgiveness. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
 
9/28/18
Today’s devotion is based on an account of Paul’s preaching. “So they set a date with Paul, and a large number of them came that day to the place where Paul was staying. From morning till night he explained to them his message about the Kingdom of God, and he tried to convince them about Jesus by quoting from the Law of Moses and the writings of the prophets. Some of them were convinced by his words, but others would not believe.”
Paul is quoting the Scriptures, showing that they pointed to Jesus. He would have told them how all the promises in the past had now been fulfilled and completed in Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
The reaction was that some believed, but others weren’t convinced. Unfortunately, many people hear but don’t understand, and some see but don’t perceive what they see. Sometimes people’s hearts become hard, and then their ears stop hearing and they close their eyes to the truth.
Just like in Paul’s day some of those you share the Word of God will accept the wonderful news of salvation. When it happens, rejoice for God’s Word has done what it has been written down to do, save people from the horror of Hell. When they refect God’s Word, don’t let it stop you from telling other the Good New, for it is not, just as it was for Paul, your fault. , There have always been and always will be these two reactions by people who hear the word of God.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Dear heavenly Father, thank you for opening my heart, eyes, ears, and mind to you and your words of salvation. Help me in my witness to stay true to your Word so that as many people as possible with hear and understand your words of salvation. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
 
Genesis 1:27 records the creation of the first human beings. "So God created man in his own image." 
 
What a pity that this wonderful story of creation has been the cause of so many arguments, not just between some Christians and the world of science, but also between Christians themselves.
 
This story clearly establishes human beings as the pinnacle of God’s creation. Made in a unique way to have a unique relationship with God, made in God’s very image (and hasn’t that caused some disagreements among theologians trying to work out what it means), human beings were created to be God’s friends. Psalm 8 beautifully describes human status:
 
When I look at the sky, which you have made,
at the moon and stars, which you set in their places­ –
what are human beings, that you think of them;
mere mortals, that you care for them?
Yet you have made them inferior only to yourself.
 
How foolish we are, when we occupy the ‘top spot’ in God’s creation, that we turn to things – things created less than us by God – to put our trust in. Pagans of the past literally made images of gods in the form of idols; more sophisticated moderns try to create gods in human image. Either way, we demean what God created us to be.
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Father, you have made me a unique creature, very special to you. Help me to believe it and to live as one who believes it. Amen.
 
 
 
Today's devotion  is based on Acts18:27,27  "Apollos then decided to go to Achaia, so the believers in Ephesus helped him by writing to the believers in Achaia urging them to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who through God’s grace had become believers. For with his strong arguments he defeated the Jews in public debates by proving from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah." 
 
Apollos had been gifted by God. He was an eloquent speaker who could tell others about Jesus as Savior in a powerful way. It’s wonderful how the believers in Ephesus acknowledged this gift in Apollos and how they encouraged him to use it. That’s how God wants his church to be – not believer competing with believer but everyone honoring and encouraging in others what God has given to his church to the glory of his name. God has also given you a special gift. Have you acknowledged it and are you using it to serve him? Think about it, and ask him every day how you can better serve him by serving others. 
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, help me to honor everything that you have given me for this life. Take all selfishness out of my heart and help me to use all my gifts for you as i serve others. Amen.
 
Jesus was losing his popularity with the crowds.  He was not making their earthly life better.  They were going to have to keep working .   We are told this in John 6:66-69.  "Because of this, many of Jesus’ followers turned back and would not go with him any more. So he asked the twelve disciples, ‘And you – would you also like to leave?’  Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. And now we believe and know that you are the Holy One who has come from God.’" 
 
People today still look for an earthly Jesus who give them all they need.  We,  who know the true Jesus , the one who through his death made peace between God and us, need to be prepared to share that news about God,  so that they can join us in heaven. 
 
 Please pray with me the prayer for today. Lord Jesus, you are the only one who can give eternal life. Use me so that others can come to know and accept that truth. Amen. 
Today's devotion is based on Acts 20:9,10.   "A young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window, and as Paul kept on talking, Eutychus got sleepier and sleepier, until he finally went sound asleep and fell from the third storey to the ground. When they picked him up, he was dead. But Paul went down and threw himself on him and hugged him. ‘Don’t worry,’ he said, ‘he is still alive!’" 
 
It’s not surprising that a young man fell asleep during Paul’s long speech. It appears Paul was long winded so it would not be surprising that people might fall asleep.  What was unusual was that this man fell to his death after falling asleep.
 
Paul ran over and made a surprise announcement,  the dead young man was alive again. What could have been quite disastrous for the community and for Paul’s mission was turned into a great miracle of God’s grace. When all seems lost and final, life comes after death. 
 
The people had heard the message of Jesus and what he had done for them by dying and being raised to life. They had also witnessed a powerful miracle of a dead man among them being raised to life again. No wonder they went home greatly comforted. While we do not witness such things today,  God caused the event to be recorded for us so that we too would believe. 
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your continuing signs of life after death, which give me such comfort. Amen.Todays devotion is based on Acts 19:25,26. "So he called them all together with others whose work was like theirs and said to them, ‘Men, you know that our prosperity comes from this work. Now, you can see and hear for yourselves what this fellow Paul is doing. He says that handmade gods are not gods at all, and he has succeeded in convincing many people, both here in Ephesus and in nearly the whole province of Asia.’"
 
In Paul’s time, people purchased little statues and idols to obtain access to their chosen god. The more expensive the item, the more your god would be pleased with you and grant you your requests. You may think this superstitious nonsense, but have you considered how much we still do the same? Unless we have the right car, the right house, the right job, we are not seen as being successful or being blessed by our ‘consumer gods’.
 
But imagine someone announcing access to a gracious and loving God, free of charge. This would upset anyone who makes a living from our greed and our need for signs of success. You don’t need expensive statues to appeal to God, but faith in his promises. You don’t need to pay, but can freely come and sit among fellow believers to listen to how God freely blesses you. What more do you need?
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Dear heavenly Father, forgive me for putting my trust in the things of the world instead of you.  Grant me a heart that believes your promises. In and for the sake of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.
 
 
  
The devotion for today is based on a Psalm. 
 
The LORD is near to those who are discouraged;
he saves those who have lost all hope.
Good people suffer many troubles,
but the LORD saves them from them all;
the LORD preserves them completely;
not one of their bones is broken. (verses 18-20)
 
The stories about Jesus in the gospels show him as a person who was always seeking out people.  He had a special heart for those who were poor, diseased, bereaved or suffering. He would bypass the successful, popular and well heeled in order to help or heal the needy.
 
In today’s reading we read David’s words in praise of a loving God who has great sympathy for the crushed and broken-hearted. We see here a continuing theme that runs through the ages. When you and I find ourselves in the company of someone hurting, the assurance of our caring can be a blessing to them in their suffering too.
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Dear God, thank you for your help and concern for all people who are suffering. Thank you for always being there for me too whenever the bad times come. Help me to be more aware of those in need that I would live my life in a more Christ like manner.  Amen.
  
8/24/18
Today’s devotion is based on Acts 10:34-36, “Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis. Those who worship him and do what is right are acceptable to him, no matter what race they belong to. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.’”
 
Peter, speaking to a group of Gentile converts tells them that the Good News of Jesus is for all people. It is a message that is ultimately the answer to all the world’s problems. God wants to give all people a special sense of peace. No one is barred from this offer. It is special because it assures everyone who accepts it that they will receive reconciliation with God and an eternal future with him. It is what everyone needs, and it’s what God freely gives.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, thank you for your gift of salvation given to us for the sake of your Son Jesus, for in his sacrifice on our behalf we have peace with you. Amen.

 
 8/23/18
Today’s devotion is based on Acts 15:19,20, “’It is my opinion,’ James went on, ‘that we should not trouble the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead, we should write a letter telling them not to eat any food that is ritually unclean because it has been offered to idols; to keep themselves from sexual immorality, and not to eat any animal that has been strangled or any blood.’”
There has always been a blurring of the line between faith and actions when it comes to people’s perceptions of a church. Can someone be a ‘good’ Christian and wear torn and dirty clothes to church? Can a Christian teenager spend the night clubbing, dancing to music with immoral lyrics, and still be welcome in Christ’s house the next morning?
Of course, they can, for the Bible makes it clear that we are a forgiven people and are not judged by external appearances or dietary habits. Just as Paul and Barnabas had to advise the people of Antioch, those who are secure in their faith must not judge new Christians by the standards they are used to. On the other hand, new Christians should show respect for the ways of the church they have decided to join. Harmony between Christians comes down to a matter of mutual respect and a recognition that despite our differences we are one in Christ.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Thank you for not judging me by my outward appearance. Help me not to judge others by my human standards but to see all people as your people. Amen.

 
8/22/18
Today’s devotion is based on John 6:41-44, “The people started grumbling about him, because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ So they said, ‘This man is Jesus son of Joseph, isn’t he? We know his father and mother. How, then, does he now say he came down from heaven?’ Jesus answered, ‘Stop grumbling among yourselves. People cannot come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and I will raise them to life on the last day.’”
Throughout time people have grumbled about God. The Israelites had a good old grumble only a month after God had rescued them from slavery. ‘Why did you bring us here to the desert where there’s no food?’ they grumbled. God’s response? He sent them bread from heaven. It saved their lives.
Many years later, the people listening to Jesus grumbled about him because he claimed to have come down from heaven when everyone knew he was the son of Joseph and Mary. Jesus’ response? He told them he was indeed the bread that came down from heaven. Bread that could save lives for eternity.
People still grumble about God today. ‘If there is a God,’ they say, ‘why doesn’t he stop wars and child abuse and other horrors?’ God’s response; I still offer to a sin-sick world the life-saving bread: Jesus. It’s an offer we need to pass on to others, for when people are drawn to Jesus and filled with the life he gives, will know that in and through Jesus there is an answer and peace.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, thank you for sending your Son Jesus, the Bread of Life to this earth so that we can know of your love and forgiveness through him. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

 
 
8/21/18
Today’s devotion is based on Ephesians 15-19, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.”
Plenty of people try to tell you how to live well. They will give you the secrets to good health or making money, or a happy marriage, or raising children, or whatever. How do you decide what advice to follow when the experts differ?
You might consider Paul’s inspired words in Ephesians, for when the focus of your life is not on yourself, but on God and other people, then you are living wisely. Look to Jesus and find in him the example and inspiration for such a life of praising God and serving others.
Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things I give you thanks and praise for your Word has given me true wisdom; knowledge of Jesus. Amen.
 
 
8/19/18
Today’s Bible reading Acts 17:10-12, “As soon as night came, the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived, they went to the synagogue. The people there were more open-minded than the people in Thessalonica. They listened to the message with great eagerness, and every day they studied the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was really true. Many of them believed, and many Greek women of high social standing and many Greek men also believed.”
The people Paul taught, did what we all should do, search the scriptures to see if what the pastor taught on Sunday is what God’s word teaches. It is sad, but too many times the Word of God is used on Sunday mornings wrongly. Too often verses are taken out of context, or their meaning is changed to suit the pastor’s teaching.
 
You are blessed by God when you open God’s Word like the people of Berea. Listening to what God says and following him fills you with hope and peace. There is joy, heavenly joy, in following Jesus.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord Jesus, give me a greater desire to hear you speaking. And as I read the Scriptures, open my ears to hear so that I may grow in my love for you. Thank you for becoming my Savior. Amen.
 
 
8/17/18
Today’s Bible reading in Acts 16:25-32 tells us about an event that happened one night while Paul and Silas were in jail. “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."
The jailer knows he is doomed. He has failed in his duty, and his shame and guilt are more than he can bear. So he decides to end it all. No hope. No future. Nothing left to live for. Many people have traveled down that road and ended up like this jailer, wanting to finish it off. They are afraid of what lies ahead, and there seems to be no way out.
But you know that there is a God who cares for you, who has the answers to all your needs. Often it’s through a Paul or Silas that he rescues. To the question ‘What must I do to be saved?’ there is only one sure answer: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” That’s how a jailer and his family found peace. Simple, yet profound life-changing words that give for those who believe, even in the worst of disasters peace and hope.
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, you have taken care of what I need most, forgiveness for the sake of Jesus. Help me to remember when I come into the company of those in despair Paul’s words, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. Amen.
 
 
8/16/18
Today’s devotion is based on 1 John 3:17, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”
God’s Word tells us very clearly in this passage that if your mind is closed to your neighbor’s needs, your mind is also closed to God. For, when you close your mind to someone in need you are not only rejecting that person, but you are rejecting God’s command to love others as oneself.
 
I am sure that, that statement just upset some people. But, we must remember that all we have, physically and spiritually is a gift from God. A person’s response to such love is to pass that love on to others. Passing it on to others is not just talking about it or praying for those in need, it is doing something for those in need.
 
Our lack of loving others as God tells us we should show us our need for Jesus and his saving act. This does not mean that when we ignore the needs of others that we can help by relying on Jesus’ forgiveness, but that we strive to live as Jesus desires.
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, I give you thanks and praise for all you have done for me. Help me through your Word to recognize my lack of love when I do not help those I can help, so that I repent of my sin and change my actions toward them for good. For the sake of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

8/14/18
Today’s devotion is based on 1 John 3:9, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning.”
John had also written, “If we say we have no sin, the truth is not in us.” Both of these verses at first glance appear not to make any sense, for we all know we are sinners. The Old Adam (sinful body) will not yield to God’s law. It is constantly at odds with the flesh and thus in constant need of forgiveness.
 
It is a different thing though to sin deliberately without admitting that the deed or thought is wrong. To deliberately sin without acknowledging it is a sin, is not to be a Christian. I say that because that type of sin has extinguished God’s Spirit in one’s life.
Thanks be to God, for it is only because of God’s love that we are children of God. By grace, we are saved for Christ’s sake and not through good deeds. Thus even though we are sinful, we can serve God with joy as we try to live our lives like Jesus, knowing that his redemptive act will free us from this life of sin when we meet the Lord.
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things remind me through your Word when I sin, that I have sinned and am in need of your forgiveness so that I will turn back to you in repentance. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
 
8/13/18
Today’s devotion is from Psalm 85:8,9: “I am listening to what the LORD God is saying; he promises peace to us, his own people if we do not go back to our foolish ways. Surely he is ready to save those who honor him, and his saving presence will remain in our land.”
It seems like the world is full of half-truths. What is true for one person is not always true for the next. While there are many examples of half-truths, Astrology is one of the worst. For in Astrology things are never quite false but are not quite true either.
When you listen to Jesus, as his words are recorded for us in the Bible you never end up with half-truths; you get what he promises. He will always give you the right answer, the answer that will satisfy. The psalm writer trusted in God and was speaking from experience when he said, “Surely he is ready to save those who honor him.”
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, open up my mind to the truths of the Bible so that I will be able to discern better the half-truths that I encounter every day. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

8/9/18
Today’s devotion is based on Acts 7:32-34, “‘I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Moses trembled with fear and dared not look. The Lord said to him, “Take your sandals off, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have seen the cruel suffering of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groans, and I have come down to set them free. Come now; I will send you to Egypt!”
Moses found himself called by God to set right a great wrong, to liberate his people from slavery in Egypt. Even the people God had given him to lead rejected him. He trembled before God. He was overwhelmed by the challenge.
You can find yourself in a comparable position. Lots of things in life seem to be out of kilter, injustice seems to thrive, and people get on the wrong track. Even if you are personally trying to do something about it, you sometimes wonder whether God is really helping, or even if you are on the right side. You can have peace knowing that God is in charge, you know 1t is his strength that counts, and you know his love always triumphs, whatever he sends you to do.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Dear God even though I am weak and often am not clear as to what I should do, use me to do your will. Amen.

 

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