Today’s devotion is based on Ephesians 4:10, “He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.”
As we approach Holy Week, ponder all the wealth God gives you through His eternal Son! Jesus is not bound to a throne in heaven. To ‘sit at the right hand of God’ means that Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth, filling the entire universe with both divine and human natures.
Since your Lord died on the cross, rose from the tomb, and ascended to heaven, your salvation is complete. He still feeds the Church His actual body and blood in the mystery of the Sacrament. Therefore Jesus is wonderfully closer to you than you could ever imagine.
Please pray with me verse 5 of ‘Lord Jesus Christ, You Have Prepared’: Through reason cannot understand, yet faith this truth embraces: Your body, Lord is even now at once in many places. I leave to You how this can be; Your Word alone suffices me; I trust its truth unfailing. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on John 11:25,26, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Confronted by Jesus’ statement, some say Jesus is a liar. Others say that he is a lunatic. But the biblical records do not support these conclusions, leaving you with only one other conclusion. Jesus is who he claims to be. He is God the Son, who became fully human. He came here to live a life of perfect goodness on our behalf. He came to suffer and die for our every sin. Then, to demonstrate who he is and what he’s accomplished, he raised himself to life three days later. Do you believe this? I hope so, for your life depends on it.
Please pray with me: Lord Jesus, you are the resurrection and the life. Empower me to live and believe in you. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on John 8:58, “Very truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’”
His clear statements of the truth are unbearable to those he is talking to, as Jesus distinguishes between being someone’s descendant biologically and following the example of one’s father. He accuses the Jews of diverging so far from their ancestor Abraham, a man of faith, that they are now children of the devil.
In his response, as it is recorded in John 1:11-13, we see that ‘he came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.’
Please pray with me: Lord Jesus, you gave us a new understanding of what family is – a group of people connected by God, in love, encouraging each other, and pointing to the truth that sets us free. Help us to know our Heavenly Father and share your truth in love. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Has the Son, that is, Jesus, set me free from my love of things? Of status? Of busyness? Of my own rightness? Of my goodness? Every day, I need to return to the foot of the cross and lay down those things I am a slave to. Then, through Jesus, I am set free.
Please pray with me: Lord Jesus, set me free from the cheap trophies of this world – my family name, my goodness, my correctness, my power, my pride. For it is only then I will be totally free to serve you in humility and joy. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on John 6:49-51, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
These words are hard to understand. And even after two millennia of Christian teaching and guidance, we still cannot logically figure out how this can be. But in faith, trusting in Jesus' words, we partake of his body and blood in the Supper he instituted so long ago because he said that partaking of his body and blood brings about eternal life.
Please pray with me: Thank you, Jesus, for offering yourself as an atoning sacrifice for me. As I join in Holy Communion with you, my neighbors, and the company of saints across time, help me rejoice in your saving grace. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on John 11:1-4, “Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
I believe that is a good lesson for us today, whatever we might be going through. Circumstances in the world and personally can lead us to question the words of Jesus. If so, remember what Jesus said, as it is recorded for us in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” That is God’s promise, a promise that cannot be broken.
Terrible illness, loss of wealth, job insecurity, fear for the family, and even death will not negate those words and lead to destruction. Jesus’ words are trustworthy and will remain valid. His death and resurrection conquered sin and eternal death and ushered in for his people an age of life; true life, abundant life, life in relationship with him—and all that brings! After all, Jesus is alive!
Please pray with me the prayer for today: My blessed Jesus, You came that I might have life and have it abundantly. Send your Spirit to help me look beyond my circumstances of today so that I can fully experience the life you have earned for me. Then help me to care for my neighbors by pointing them to you in all your glory. In your name, I pray. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Romans 15:1-3, "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."
Selfish living is not God-pleasing living. There is a better way. Paul writes, "Even Christ did not please himself." It's remarkable to see Jesus' life and how selfless he was. Jesus did not live his life to please himself. Instead, he willingly put us first and died on the cross to take our sins away. Because he was so selfless, you and I are forgiven, saved, and on the way to heaven through faith in him. Let the selfless love of Jesus motivate you to be different. Out of love for Jesus, don't try so hard to have it your way. Rather, as Paul says, "Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up."
Please pray with me: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for living such a selfless life for me and for willingly giving that life on the cross in my place. Motivate me with your love today to put others first and to serve them as you have served me. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on John 9:4-7, "As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." After saying this, he [Jesus] spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. So the man went and washed, and came home seeing."
Jesus said he must do the works of him who sent me while it was still day, for night was coming soon. Jesus was there to do the work his Father had for him to do in the time God had given him. Jesus' mission was to undo the effects of sin, and God had arranged all of time for this purpose. His work could not wait but had to be accomplished. It is the same "why" in your own story and the same determination with which God works in your life. He is still the light of the world and working at just the right time and in the right way. We may have many questions about the "what" of our story, but never forget about the "why."
Please pray with me: Lord of all, enable me to do the work you have given me in the time you have given me to do it. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Ephesians 5:13, "But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light."
God has called his followers out of darkness into his light by revealing Jesus, the world's light. Jesus shows us how great God's love is by pointing us to the cross, where he paid the price for every one of our sins. Having brought us into the light, he calls us to do what light naturally does—shine on others.
Please pray with me: Dear Jesus, help me shine the light of your salvation on others who are living in darkness. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on John 9:1-3, "As [Jesus] went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him."'
"What did I do to deserve this?" Or "Why is God punishing me?" are phrases I hear quite often. Jesus' disciples had similar thoughts when they came upon a man blind from birth. They were sure someone had done something to deserve this punishment of blindness. The only question was who sinned.
Jesus' response to his disciples reveals a greater truth about suffering for the Christian: It is not about punishment for sin but about the work of God being revealed in us. God promises that the sufferings in this life are neither chaos nor punishment for those who believe in him. Instead, God is using all of these things to accomplish his good purposes for us. Sometimes God's work is subtle, and sometimes it is obvious. Sometimes it is easy to understand, and sometimes it isn't easy to understand—all the time, it is God's good work displayed.
Please pray with me: Heavenly Father; please assure me that as a believer, the events of my life, whether good or bad, are being used to show your mercy toward me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.