Weekly Devotions (Page 2)

Weekly Devotions (Page 2)

Advent Prayer Answered

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20). It was Advent. Students at one of our Area Lutheran High Schools had chosen “Come, Lord Jesus!” as the theme for their chapel services. The words appeared on a large banner for everyone to see. In those worship services they heard again about the three comings of Christ: As a child at Bethlehem; through Word and Sacrament today; and finally, when he…

Benefits-A Thanksgiving Devotion

Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (Psalm 103:2) I pulled an old book off the shelf today. It was the Abridged Treasury of Prayers, given to my parents in 1948. It must have been among the items given to me after my parents died. As I casually flipped through the pages, a rose petal fell out. I recalled that my mother often did this-putting rose petals between the pages of favorite books. I began looking…

King of Kings

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. (John 19:15). They didn’t mean what they said. They spoke out of spite. Their answer was shocking. It became a death sentence. “We have no king but Caesar!” Those words reveal a level of tragedy surpassed only by the cry, “His blood be upon us and our children!” What would King David have said about this traitor-like answer? He and others fought many…

Whispering Hope

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the…

Cursed No More

See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse” (Malachi 4:5). It seems the world is far too comfortable with the idea of a curse. Cursing has become a human habit. It might damn everything from a coffee spill…

Repent

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 4:17) The great reformation of the Holy Christian Church did not begin with the closed fist of defiant rebellion. The 95 theses posted on a church door in Germany in 1517 started with a call for sorrow over sin. It echoed the call Jesus issued at the beginning of his ministry on earth: “Repent!” Repentance is critical to spiritual life. At times, it…

Keeping
Count

The total number of persons belonging to Jacob—his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons—who came to Egypt: 66. And Joseph’s sons who were born to him in Egypt: two persons. All those of Jacob’s household who had come to Egypt: 70 persons. (Genesis 46:26,27) A WWII Veteran once remarked: “In war, life is cheap!” He had survived for weeks on the beaches of Anzio without a scratch. Suddenly, pain erupted in his stomach. It was not an…

Once Was Lost

“However, Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, her father’s household, and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent to spy on Jericho, and she lives in Israel to this day.” Joshua 6:25 It’s a false dream that suggests humans can earn the favor of God by living a good life. It’s despicable arrogance that leads someone to think: “Unlike myself, that person over there does not deserve God’s favor!” The truth is: no one deserves…

Delivered to Evil

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god (Daniel 1:1,2). Sometimes we are confused, maybe even shocked, to see what the Ruler of…

Deadly Doubts

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted (Matthew 28:16). Doubts are like stones thrown onto our path.  Small doubts may just make us pay attention to our footing.  Large doubts can become spiritual IEDs. The person who never has any doubts is at great risk. We dare not believe everything we read on the Internet.   We scoff at ads that promise:…