November 30 2015

Monday; 2015-11-30; Isaiah 7:10-14;

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TDP: December 1;

Original Broadcast: Monday; 2008-12-01;

Isaiah 7:10-14;

'Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, "Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven." But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test." And he said, "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:10-14, ESV)

King Ahaz thinks he's being wise, he's not. He is surrounded by enemies. God says they won't win. Pick any sign and God will show he is faithful. Ahaz says no. God gives one anyway. The name Immanuel means "God with us." He will be with the foolish king. The enemies of God's people won't succeed. But God is always more faithful than we can imagine. "God with us," is also the name of God's son who comes to take away the sin of the world. God's promise to Ahaz is his promise to us. God comes personally, in human flesh, to be our Savior. God born in a manger. God walking our roads. God eating our food. God living our life and yes, dying our death. Sin is so serious that only "God with us" can fix it. Jesus Christ is God with us. His life death and resurrection bring us forgiveness of our sin.

Let us pray: Come, Thou long expected Jesus, Born to set thy people free; From our fears and sins release us; Let us find our rest in Thee; Israel's strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art, Dear desire of every nation, Joy of ev'ry longing heart. Amen. (LSB 338,1)

Devo ID: 41

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November 27 2015

Friday; 2015-11-27; Isaiah 1:16-18;

TDP: November 27;

Original Broadcast: Thursday; 2008-11-27;

Isaiah 1:16-18;

'Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; ... "Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. (Isaiah 1:16-18, ESV)

Red is the color that everyone notices. In the old days barns were painted red because it was the cheapest color to make. But as you went around the country-side the farm places were easy to find. The first thing you learn in a car is "Red means stop." Red is the color of warning and danger. Wild animals avoid it. Red is the color of blood and death. God tells us red is the color of sin. This passage is a warning then. Sin is noticeable. Sin is dangerous. Sin is easy to find. Stop sinning, God says. Wash yourselves clean! I see into your heart. I know your sin. Sin is dangerous. With God, sin deserves death and punishment. But with God there is always a promise, too. Though your sins are obvious, you will be clean. They are red but they will be made white. God is always talking his plan to take care of sin in Jesus. Sin is death and bloodshed, crimson and scarlet. The danger of death surrounds it. The red blood of Jesus changes everything. Sin is made white like snow and wool. Jesus death on the cross gets the red out. Jesus death takes your sin away. Life is better without it.

Let us pray: Thank you Jesus for removing sin from me. Amen.

Devo ID: 39

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November 26 2015

Thursday; 2015-11-26; Revelation 22:1-3;

TDP: November 26;

Original Broadcast: Wednesday; 2008-11-26;

Revelation 22:1-3;

'Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him (Revelation 22:1-3, ESV)

It sounds like a wonderful place; a bright shining river flowing down through the middle of a beautiful city. Each bank of the river is lined with a row of beautiful crosses... Wait did I hear that right? I thought the river was lined with trees not crosses? Trees that have a never ending supply of fruit and leaves that heal all kinds of diseases? How can a cross do that? It can if it is Jesus' cross. Sinful generation after sinful generation have looked upon the cross and seen the forgiveness of sin won there by Jesus. Sin sick soul after sin sick soul has crawled to the foot of the cross for healing. The curse of sin is eternal death, eternal separation from God. Jesus promises to raise the dead just as he is raised and that removes the curse of death forever. What the cross of Jesus, the Tree of Life offers in entrance into the beautiful eternal city. There is a beauty in the bloody cross that can only be seen with the eyes of faith.

Let us pray: Jesus, I will ponder now On Your holy passion; With Your Spirit me endow For such meditation. Grant that I in love and faith May the image cherish Of Your suff'ring, pain, and death That I may not perish. Amen.

Devo ID: 38

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November 25 2015

Wednesday; 2015-11-25; Revelation 21:22-27;

TDP: November 25;

Original Broadcast: Tuesday; 2008-11-25;

Revelation 21:22-27;

'And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day-and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. (Revelation 21:22-27, ESV)

How about that? A city with no lights. John is describing what an eternity with God will be like. He's using pictures we can understand for things we can't. There will be no temple or lights. These are not needed because God himself will be there providing everything. Since God is there there is nothing "detestable and false." But that's a picture we really don't understand. Our world is filled with those kinds of things and we ourselves are the worst of the lot. We want to think that we are naturally good but "detestable and false" is a better description. Read the news and you'll see it clearly. We are by nature sinful and unclean. Are we left out of the city? Not if our names are written in the Lamb's book of life. That is the record of all those who have faith in Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He takes away your sin, so you can be in God's presence forever.

Let us pray: Dearest Jesus, take my sin away, make me clean. Amen.

Devo ID: 37

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November 24 2015

Tuesday; 2015-11-24; Revelation 21:3-6;

TDP: November 24;

Original Broadcast: Monday; 2008-11-24;

Revelation 21:3-6;

'And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." ... And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. (Revelation 21:3-6, ESV)

Wouldn't it be nice to have all things new? That old car, bald tires and all, new, pristine, with that fresh from the factory smell. And not the kind that comes from the "new car scent" air freshener. And even more important a new body, without aches and pains, surgery scares and arthritis. But, cars run down. Things and people wear out. Time marches on. People stop working and die. All things new? It's just a dream, right? Not according to "the one who sits on the throne." He says he is making all things new. He promises that death itself will be no more. That's exactly why God became a human being in Jesus. He came to deal with death. Jesus died on the cross, but he also came alive again. God says "It is done!" That new life is yours when you believe that Jesus did it all for you for the forgiveness of your sin. And it doesn't cost you anything.

Let us pray: Gracious Heavenly Father, make me new through the forgiveness of my sin. Amen.

Devo ID: 36

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November 23 2015

Monday; 2015-11-23; Daniel 2:20-23;

TDP: November 21;

Original Broadcast: Friday; 2008-11-21;

Daniel 2:20-23;

'Daniel answered and said: "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king's matter." (Daniel 2:20-23, ESV)

This is Daniel's prayer in response to God saving his life by giving him an interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The king had lost sleep over the dream and asked for an interpretation. When none could be given he ordered the execution of all the wise men in the land, including Daniel. Daniel prayed for an answer and God gave him the dream's meaning. It is easy for us to feel things are out of control, and forget that God's hand guides all things. As Daniel confesses, God changes the seasons, sets up kings, and gives wisdom as he will. All things are in his hands. We remember God's sacrifice of Jesus for our forgiveness, and trust that all other things will work out for our good.

Let us pray: Thank you Lord, for caring for me in the world. Amen.

Devo ID: 35

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November 20 2015

Friday; 2015-11-20; Matthew 28:1-6;

TDP: November 20;

Original Broadcast: Thursday; 2008-11-20;

Matthew 28:1-6;

'Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. (Matthew 28:1-6, ESV)

The task is done. Jesus is crucified, dead and buried. He is punished for the sins of the whole world. The earth shook and Jesus is alive again. The angel announces the Good News. Jesus is no longer dead but alive. He isn't here, in the grave, where dead people belong. He is with the living. The angel sat on the stone, the death door. It is rolled away so people can see the empty grave. That is the whole point. The grave is empty. Your grave is empty, too. Someday you will die and lay in a grave. If you sin you will die. But Jesus has taken forever out of death. God will open the door of your grave and you will live again. Your sin is forgiven because Jesus died for you. And he takes the permanent punishment out of it because he is risen.

Let us pray: When death comes near, Oh Lord, comfort me with your resurrection. Amen.

Devo ID: 34

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November 19 2015

Thursday; 2015-11-19; Jeremiah 38:4-6;

TDP: November 19;

Original Broadcast: Wednesday; 2008-11-19;

Jeremiah 38:4-6;

'Then the officials said to the king, "Let this man be put to death... For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm." King Zedekiah said, "Behold, he is in your hands..." So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king's son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud. (Jeremiah 38:4-6, ESV)

Now this is a prophet we can relate to. He's down in the bottom of a well, stuck in the mud. Jeremiah, the king of the mud. His enemies have the upper hand. They have convinced the king, Jeremiah is nothing but trouble. Why do they want him dead? Jeremiah has called sin, sin. It is only natural; people hate to be told about their sin. They hate even more when they are told God doesn't sweep sin under the carpet. "Don't you judge me!" they say. They want to kill the messenger. But God doesn't ignore sin. Sin requires punishment. Our message of sin in the world is also our message of God's forgiveness in Jesus. Jesus brought God's message of sin and forgiveness. Jesus enemies wanted him dead too. Jesus gave his life on the cross for the forgiveness of sin. When punishment is necessary God sends Jesus to pay it through his suffering and death. Sin is forgiven we don't need to live in it anymore.

Let us pray: Gracious God, help me to live in forgiveness and not sin. Amen.

Devo ID: 33

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November 18 2015

Wednesday; 2015-11-18; Matthew 27:45-50;

TDP: November 18;

Original Broadcast: Tuesday; 2008-11-18;

Matthew 27:45-50;

'Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, "This man is calling Elijah." And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him." And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. (Matthew 27:45-50, ESV)

"My God, My God Why?" Why indeed? Jesus looks to heaven and shouts this question to God His Father. His agony is evident. Nails pierce through his wrists and ankles. Blood flows down his arms and drips on the ground. The thorny crown sticks to his forehead through blood matted hair. His skin is ripped from the whip. We see the pain and the suffering here. But, Jesus words are not only a cry of the pain we see, he has been left alone on the cross to die. God, his Father, has turned his back and looked the other way. Jesus is forsaken. See here the true, just full, punishment for sin. This is what hell is; God turning away and leaving only punishment. Sin is no mere moral failure it is deadly serious rejection of God. God's response is clear. Why have you forsaken me? If you are left in your sin, this rejection of God is yours. But Jesus lives and dies and suffers it instead. You are free.

Let us pray: My God, My God, you have forsaken Jesus in my place. Help me to forsake my sin. Amen.

Devo ID: 32

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November 17 2015

Tuesday; 2015-11-17; Matthew 27:27-31;

TDP: November 17;

Original Broadcast: Monday; 2008-11-17;

Matthew 27:27-31;

'Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. (Matthew 27:27-31, ESV)

The soldiers have made up a game. They are far from home. They take out their frustrations on Jesus. The game is called "king for a day." But this king doesn't get a real crown or robe or scepter. The ones they give are made to humiliate. They want to show that Jesus is no king at all. They use the words "King of the Jews" in dark humor. But what they say is actually true. Jesus is king. In fact, Jesus is The King. The bloody man is King of all Kings, Creator of the Universe, God in human flesh. He makes a kingdom through the forgiveness of sin. In pain and death, in courtyard and cross King Jesus does what no other king would do. He saves his people by giving himself. In his resurrection to life again he does when no other king can do. He makes a forever kingdom for you and me. Our sin is forgiven in Jesus life, death and resurrection. He is our King, and Savior.

Let us pray: Jesus, Savior, King, rule in my heart through your love. Amen.

Devo ID: 31

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