Today’s devotion is based on John 17:15 “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one”
This week, I will base my daily devotion on Jesus’ prayer to his Father for the disciples. While we don’t often focus on this prayer, it can teach us many things about Jesus’ mission on earth. We learn of Jesus’ mission to the disciples now being complete. In this prayer, he glorifies the Father and prays for protection on his disciples, praying to the Father for their safety in his name. From all we have learned about prayer from Jesus himself, we know that there is an absolute certainty that his prayer to his Holy Father will be answered.
We do well to remember that Jesus will protect us from the evil one. But he isn’t necessarily going to ‘airlift’ us out of troubled situations. Current times demonstrate this all too clearly. But we are his children; he prays for us, and he is with us while we live in this world.
Please pray the prayer of the day with me: Father, help us to must remember who we are, who we belong to, and that the truth sanctifies us through Jesus’ death on the cross. Help us follow Jesus’ example to pray for others, just as Jesus did, even when facing our troubles. Please help us to put others’ needs before our own. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on John 15:13-15, “Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
Just as Jesus made it clear where his disciples stood, so Jesus doesn’t leave his followers today wondering if they are part of the group. He also calls them his friends. He gives them the inside scoop. As they sit down to read his Word, the Bible, they hear everything that Jesus learned from his Father and made known to his disciples. They also can listen to Jesus explain who he is, the reason he came, and how he saved the world from eternal death by dying for it.
Please join me in praying the prayer for today: Thank you for your gift of the Word of God, for in that Word you still speak to us, the good news of your love. Help us remember that even though we cannot see you, we are not alone, for we are in you, and you are in us. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.
Since Thursday was the day the Christian Church celebrated Ascension today, I want to base my devotion for today on Acts1:10,11. “They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
I do not doubt that the disciples were wondering as Jesus was ascending whether he would appear again since he had disappeared from their midst before and then reappeared.
Two angels addressed what was on their minds. They said that Jesus had gone to heaven. And there would be no doubt about how he would return. It would not be in secret. It would not be to redo what he had already done.
When Jesus returns, it will be judgment day. He will appear in the sky quite visibly. Angels will accompany him. Souls from heaven will accompany him. Their bodies will rise from the dead, glorified, and the souls will reoccupy those glorified bodies. Those who are still alive will be gathered to the place where Jesus is visibly returning. You can trust that at that moment, God will keep the promise the angel made, the one that says, “whoever believes in him will have eternal life.”
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord Jesus, in faith I know whether I am alive or dead when you return for judgment day, I will see you with joy on Judgment Day. All praise to you, my Savior. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on Luke 24:50. "[Jesus] raised his hands and blessed them."
Just before he ascends to heaven, Jesus blesses the disciples. It was appropriate to occur at this time – the last time he will physically see them, at the end of his physical ministry on earth. Their lives were continuing on this earth.
We are verbally blessed at the end of every worship service when the pastor or worship leader raises his or her hands and blesses us. And it is appropriate that we are sent out into our daily lives, our working or studying week blessed.
But is that the only time we are blessed? Aren't we blessed whenever we hear the gospel in a Bible reading, sermon, at a home devotion, during a group Bible study? So it is good we are blessed at the end of a worship service, but remember, we are blessed all along.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Thank you, Lord, for the reassurance of the words of the blessing. Help us to be aware of our daily blessings and to live in your grace each day. Amen.
Today's devotion is based on John 16:32,33, where we hear Jesus telling his disciples, "Behold, the hour is coming; indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you that in me, you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
So why would Jesus say we will have troubles in this world? Perhaps it's because of our desire to have more and get more, pushing aside others in our quest to do so; maybe not literally, but still doing it—the almost innate need to put me first.
Perhaps reflecting on the world as God's creation, as very good, as a gift, might encourage us to look at the world differently. Yes, there are troubles, and we will experience troubles whether we caused them or not, but we can recognize that we are part of the problem and part of the solution through God's grace. As Jesus has defeated the world, we live in and under his care.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator and sustainer of all things in this world, seen and unseen, help us not overcome the troubles we experience in this world. Help us turn to you to live the life that you want us to live as your people who live under your care. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on Luke 11:1, where we hear the disciples ask Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
While it is certainly true that you don’t have to pray a formal prayer to Jesus, for he will respond to our simple plea, “Lord, help me.” it is also true that praying can be learned. It can be hard at first. That is why some people give up learning how to pray. The disciples knew they were not good at praying. They had seen Jesus pray. He prayed in a way that showed them that he had a special relationship with the Father, so they asked him to teach them how to pray.
First, Jesus taught them the Lord’s prayer, a rather short prayer. Sometimes, when my thoughts are all over the place, I will first pray the Lord’s prayer, paying close attention to the words in the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples. It helps me to center on God instead of myself and my problems. In doing so, I can better communicate with God when I am praying. If you are having trouble praying, I would suggest praying the Lord’s prayer first.
Please pray with me the Lord’s prayer: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins, and we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but delivers us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Today’s devotion is based on John 16:26, “In that day you will ask in my name.”
This expression or something very much like it often appears in the Bible. Since we are supposed to pray in Jesus’ name, it is good to know what it means. The best way to understand that when we pray in Jesus’ name, we must pray in faith. To pray in faith does not mean that you just know of Jesus, although that is part of praying in his name. Satan knows more about Jesus than we ever will, yet does not have saving faith in him.
We are to believe that he is our only way to salvation. Along with that we are to live that faith. Martin Luther wrote “Faith is a cloud where Christ lives. And this cloud descends upon us, surrounds us, and fills our hearts.” We are to pray in childlike confidence, with an inner desire for God’s will to be realized, satisfied with what God gives, and fully confident that he is listening to us. That is praying in Jesus’ name.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father thank you for giving us through Jesus the privilege of coming to you. We know that praying in Jesus’ name we are praying to you. Amen.