<![CDATA[SAINTJOHNLUTHERAN EMPORIAVA.COM - Daily Devotion]]>Tue, 27 Jul 2021 02:21:03 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[God wants to hear from you.]]>Mon, 26 Jul 2021 15:04:40 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/god-wants-to-hear-from-you​7-25-21
Today's devotion is based on Mark 6:29-31, "When his disciples heard of it, they came and took John the Baptist's body and laid it in a tomb. The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest awhile."
Jesus' disciples had just returned from the mission trip Jesus had sent them on. You can easily picture the disciples going on at length about their work for the kingdom, telling stories about the challenges they faced and the successes they'd found. Jesus took in every word and accepted their imperfect work gracefully. He listened because he cared. He cared about them and about what they were doing. Then he invited them to go with him to a quiet place to rest.
God's ears remain attentive to our words today. He still listens to us because he cares about us, just as Jesus did. So don't hesitate to share your joys and challenges, your frustrations and accomplishments with him in prayer.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; You are never too distracted to listen or too busy to help me. Give me ears like yours that I also may patiently listen to those who are in need have someone listen to them. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen
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<![CDATA[God's blessings are new every morning]]>Sun, 25 Jul 2021 11:35:35 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/gods-blessings-are-new-every-morning​7-25-21
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 145:13, “The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.”
The writer of the psalm invites us to join with him as he praises the Lord God. Satan wants us to forget how great is our God! He wants us to focus on our problems and worries. But our God is trustworthy! Our God is faithful! Our God is compassionate! We have seen his compassion, his faithfulness, his trustworthiness. He is a God who keeps his promises. He is a God who not only helps us when we turn to him but also helps us to turn to him in the first place.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; worthy are you to be praised. I realize that I am only aware of a small portion of the blessings you give me every day. May your Holy Spirit make me more aware of who you are, and may he enable me to praise you more and more. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
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<![CDATA[God's rest for our souls]]>Sat, 24 Jul 2021 12:22:12 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/gods-rest-for-our-souls​7-24-21
Today’s devotion is based on Mark 2:27,28 “Then [Jesus] said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Jesus came to give us rest for our souls. That’s why we take time to rest in the Word—not to follow a rule, but to honor our Savior. Jesus invites us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” We thank him for the rest we have now and look forward to the eternal rest that he has provided.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; thank you for the rest you have provided for my conscience. Give me peace as I look forward to the eternal rest that lies in the future, all thanks to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
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<![CDATA[Great is God's mercy]]>Fri, 23 Jul 2021 12:15:40 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/great-is-gods-mercy7-23-21
Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 9:36, “When he saw the crowds; he had compassion on them.”

As God has been and still is merciful to us, how merciful are we with others? As Jesus still has compassion toward us.  How compassionate are we with others? It is good to hold up a mirror to ourselves and see how we measure up. I know I find myself wanting. I am then so thankful my Lord God is merciful and compassionate. He is patient with me, and he will help me be the person he wants me to be during my time on earth.

Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; help me be merciful and compassionate to my family, to those with whom I work and to those whom I encounter each day. Help me hear your Holy Spirit as he teaches me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
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<![CDATA[Hidden love is revealed]]>Thu, 22 Jul 2021 13:21:31 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/hidden-love-is-revealed​7-22-21
Today’s devotion is based on Ephesians 1:8-10, “With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”
While these verses might be hard to understand when you first read them, after careful reading, you will see that what they are saying is that we can now see God’s love for his creation through the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
The Bible teaches us repeatedly that salvation is often hidden behind what appears to be its opposite—suffering. A good example of this is Jesus on the cross. We see pain, suffering, and death, but God sees salvation for all who call on his name. 
We can be certain that our eternal salvation is a guaranteed reality in Christ Jesus. But so often, we need to wait until “the times reach their fulfillment” for God’s perfect plan to be revealed to us. The perfect mystery is revealed at the perfect time. Relax and rejoice!
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; help me to be patient and trust you always. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
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<![CDATA[Richness of God's grace]]>Wed, 21 Jul 2021 11:35:19 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/richness-of-gods-grace​7-21-21
Today’s devotion is based on Ephesians 1:7,8. “In Jesus, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.”
When our heavenly Father chose to save the people of this world from their sins, he secretly made that choice. But, of course, any gift that’s chosen and purchased in secret does the intended recipient absolutely no good if it’s not given and opened.
God knows this better than anyone. So what did he do with his gift of eternal life? He revealed his love and forgiveness for you and me through his Son, Jesus Christ. In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, it’s as if God has ripped off the wrapping paper to reveal his astonishing gift! God’s choice was secret, but now the gift is revealed through Christ. Enjoy! Rejoice!
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; thank you for revealing your eternal love and perfect salvation in Jesus. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
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<![CDATA[He will save you]]>Tue, 20 Jul 2021 12:00:49 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/he-will-save-you​7-20-21
Today’s devotion is based on the words of God given to us through Isaiah 30:19. “How gracious he will be when you cry for help! “
The prophet pleads with the people to turn to the Lord. If only they would ask him for help, he will be so generous with them. They were suffering from the oppression of Assyria. God doesn’t enjoy our suffering; instead, his desire is for our good. Even when we are suffering due to our own sin, God’s desire is for us to turn to him.
Do you feel out of control? Have things gone horribly wrong? Your Father in Heaven, who did not withhold his dear Son but sent him to live, die and rise again because he loved you, will have compassion on you and will bless you. Turn to Him in your time of trouble. Cry out to him, and he will save you.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; help me to turn to you when I mess up. Please help me turn to you in the bad times and the good times. May your Holy Spirit enable me to see more clearly the blessings that you give me. In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen
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<![CDATA[Return to the Lord]]>Mon, 19 Jul 2021 11:32:57 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/return-to-the-lord​7-19-21
Today’s devotion is based on Deuteronomy 30:3 “The Lord, your God, will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.”
Moses knows the people will fall away, but he also knows God will not give up on them. All they need to do is to return to God, and he will have compassion on them. We may often criticize the people of Israel for their failures, but are we any better? We know Jesus died for us, and the Father raised him from the dead – yet we still have difficulty putting God first.
Each day, we should remind ourselves of our baptism, that we have died with Christ, that we have been raised with him, that we are forgiven. We can daily return to the compassion of God as we throw ourselves at the foot of the cross and receive the forgiveness that God freely offers.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; your Word shows me how patient and compassionate you are. Help me turn to you every day. Remind me of my baptism. Remind me of the death and resurrection of your dear Son. Work in me so I may love you better and thus love those around me better. In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen
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<![CDATA[Chosen]]>Sun, 18 Jul 2021 11:28:56 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/chosen7-19-21
Today’s devotion is based on Ephesians 1:3,4. “ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”
 
We have all been at some time or other in situations where we want to be chosen. It is thrilling when we are and devastating when we are not. Although it is exciting to be chosen for a team, job, or the lead role in a movie, nothing can compare to being chosen as God’s child. It means we have the almighty God on our side. Nothing can separate us from him. When we leave this world, our Father will welcome us into his eternal home.
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; thank you for choosing me to be your child. I know that I do not deserve to be a member of your family. But knowing this only makes me more thankful. Help me this day to live as your child and bring honor to your name. In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen
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<![CDATA[God has a plan for your life]]>Sat, 17 Jul 2021 08:52:53 GMThttp://saintjohnlutheranemporiava.com/daily-devotion/god-has-a-plan-for-your-life​7-17-21
Today’s devotion is based on Romans 12:2, Do not model your behavior on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God -- what is good and acceptable and mature.”
God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Too often, we have the choice to either trust God or trust man. The problem with that is too many people are living for the praise of man, not the praise of God. It is easy to be caught up in what the world thinks rather than what God thinks because we live in a natural world. However, as followers of Christ, we operate in the Kingdom of God. In the Word, Jesus says, “If the world hates you, keep in mind the world hated Me first.” As a believer, people may not like you, but that is okay. Today, I want to encourage you to live a life trusting God, not pleasing man. And watch what God does.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; thank you for extending your grace to all people and by your mercy revealing to us your will for our lives. Please send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us so that you may be glorified in all we do through Jesus Christ. To him belongs the glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
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