July 22 2014
TDP: Ash Wednesday;
Original Broadcast: Wednesday; 2009-02-25;
'In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5, ESV)
"In the beginning God..." Those are words full of meaning. Before the beginning God was there. He is the creator. He forms the heavens and earth by the speaking of his Word. The Spirit hovers over the water. There is no life yet and no light. God speaks and light comes into being. He speaks again and life begins. Arguments about the how long it took are useless here. The God who creates life and light with his voice does it instantly and completely. The only real question about six days is; "Why did God take so long?" The God who speaks into nothingness and creates matter and light and life is the only God there is. He is God. We are his creation. We are accountable to our Creator.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, in our sin we deny you as creator. Forgive us for the sake of Jesus' death on the cross. Amen.
Devo ID: 101
July 21 2014
TDP: February 24;
Original Broadcast: Tuesday; 2009-02-24;
'The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to [Jesus], "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?" This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:3-7, ESV)
It isn't wrong to point out sin, in fact, it is at times necessary. Jesus isn't ignoring this woman's sin. Adultery, that is sex outside of marriage, is indeed against God's desire for people. She certainly deserves to be punished under the law. But after this Jesus says to her, "Go and sin no more." She is guilty. She is condemned to death. She is helpless. She has no where to turn. Jesus forgives. He doesn't say, "Go back to doing what you were doing." It's different for the guys that bring her to Jesus. He confronts their sin, too. They are pretending that aren't guilty. Jesus knows different. He's not just pointing to any sin; he's accusing them of her sin. He says "If you're not guilty of sin, go ahead, start killing her." He waits patiently, scribbling in the dirt. Slowly, one by one her accusers leave. They don't hear Jesus' words of forgiveness but she woman does. Jesus' death on the cross means forgiveness for her. She will never be the same again.
Let us pray: Gracious Jesus, give us repentant hearts to receive forgiveness as she did. Amen.
Devo ID: 100
July 18 2014
TDP: February 20;
Original Broadcast: Friday; 2009-02-20;
'After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God." (John 6:66-69, ESV)
Jesus had gone too far. At least that's what lots of folks thought. He told them they couldn't do anything on their own to be saved. Only God could save them. He told them that when they looked at him they were seeing God. Many of those who followed Jesus quit. St. Peter sees clearly. He knew of no place to go to hear of God's salvation for sinful people except Jesus. "You have the words of eternal life." Peter's confession is our confession about God's Word. Jesus, and only Jesus, saves us. He is God, in the flesh, come to bring us forgiveness of our sin.
Let us pray: Thy cross, not mine, O Christ, Has borne the crushing load Of sins that none could bear But the incarnate God. To whom save Thee, Who canst alone For sin atone, Lord, shall I flee? (LSB 565s) Amen.
Devo ID: 99
July 17 2014
TDP: February 19;
Original Broadcast: Thursday; 2009-02-19;
'No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me- (John 6:44-45, ESV)
Martin Luther, a pastor who lived about 500 years ago wrote, "I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him." He's saying what Jesus says. No one can come to Jesus unless the Father, drags them. The picture is a fisherman dragging a net to a boat and lifting it in. The fish don't do anything but struggle. If we are not "taught by God" we would only swim away. Thank God, he drags us. This is what God's Word is all about. God shows us who we really are. Our lives are ruled by sinful thoughts and desires. We may not show on the outside, but sin is in our hearts. We cannot change and don't even want to. But God "teaches us." He shows us our sin and then he shows us our Savior. Jesus gives us forgiveness through his death on the cross and resurrection.
Let us pray: Lord, 'tis not that I did choose Thee; That, I know, could never be; For this heart would still refuse Thee Had Thy grace not chosen me. Thou hast from the sin that stained me Washed and cleansed and set me free And unto this end ordained me, That I ever live to Thee. (LSB 573) Amen.
Devo ID: 98
July 16 2014
TDP: February 18;
Original Broadcast: Wednesday; 2009-02-18;
'Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (John 6:35-37, ESV)
Have you ever been really hungry? There is nothing like a good sandwich at noontime when you've been working hard all day. Bread satisfies your hunger like nothing else. Bread is the most common food in the world. It is basic. It is simple. It is made by every culture everywhere on the planet. But even though it takes many different forms everyone understands how important bread is. That's why Jesus says he is the bread of life. In him you find life and not death. When you look at your life with truthful eyes what you see makes you hungry for something more. You know your life is full of selfishness and evil. God says that a life like that deserves to die. You are hungry to live forever. Jesus is the bread of life. He fills your hunger with his life. That's what his death on the cross is all about. He dies for you. He takes your selfishness and evil into the grave. Jesus rose to life again and he promises the same for you. So don't be hungry anymore. Jesus is the bread of life.
Let us pray: Oh Bread of Life, feed me with your forgiveness. Amen.
Devo ID: 97
July 15 2014
TDP: February 17;
Original Broadcast: Tuesday; 2009-02-17;
'When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. (John 6:16-21, ESV)
This part of God's Word says more than it seems at first. Jesus is walking on the water in the middle of a storm. The disciples are quite a way from the shore. It is dark. Jesus isn't with them. So when they see Jesus out there walking on the water and they are afraid. That's not difficult to understand. People can't walk on the top of the water, some can't even swim. Jesus isn't like any other person. He can walk on top of the water, even in a storm. The disciples fear is justified. When they see Jesus on the water they are looking at God. When God appears to sinful people they should be afraid. God punishes sin. God kills the sinner. But Jesus speaks to them to calm their fears. He is with them. Jesus calms our fears too. When we stand before God, sinners deserving death, Jesus speaks his forgiveness to us. He reminds us that he was killed for our sins on the cross. We are forgiven for his sake.
Let us pray: Dearest Jesus, calm my fears, forgive my sin. Amen.
Devo ID: 96
July 11 2014
TDP: February 16;
Original Broadcast: Monday; 2009-02-16;
'And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. (, ESV)
God's Word is about Jesus. That's what He is saying to these folks who don't believe in him. They know the bible very well. They search it looking for eternal life. Jesus says they've missed the whole point. They are looking for the wrong thing. They should be looking for him. Jesus tells us that he is the heart and center of God's Word. He is the golden thread that runs through each and every word of the Bible. It is a sad fact that many preachers these days forget these words of Jesus. They use God's Word as a how to guide for better living. The problem is, eternal life is not to be found when you try to live better. Eternal life is found in Jesus Christ crucified for sinners. When you search the scriptures look for Jesus, look for Jesus who lived and died for the forgiveness of your sin. Tell your preachers you want to hear about Jesus.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, help us to see Jesus in your Word. Amen.
Devo ID: 95
TDP: February 13;
Original Broadcast: Friday; 2009-02-13;
'When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, "Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe." The official said to him, "Sir, come down before my child dies." Jesus said to him, "Go; your son will live." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. (John 4:47-51, ESV)
The man believed Jesus. But at first he isn't concerned about signs or wonders. He comes to Jesus desperate to save his dying son. Jesus rebukes him and everyone around him. Jesus wants everyone to know that signs and wonders don't prove who he is. He wants faith based on his word. The official is adamant. He believes Jesus can and will heal his son. Jesus speaks God's Word. Your son will live. The man believes and heads for home. We don't see miracles like this often today. God gives us his word. He creates faith in our hearts through the Word, just as he did in this man. God says to us "your sins are forgiven." We can't see the results and sometimes we don't even feel it. But the words are true nonetheless. God forgives us because of Jesus.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, heal my sinful heart with your forgiveness. Amen.
Devo ID: 94
July 10 2014
TDP: Feburary 11;
Original Broadcast: Wednesday; 2009-02-11;
John 4:7-10, 25-26;
'A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he." (John 4:7-10, 25-26, ESV)
Many critics of Christianity say that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah, Savior of the World. It can only be said if you discount his words spoken here. Jesus clearly tells the woman at the well that he is the Christ. And more than that he offers her living water. What he's telling her about is the forgiveness that he has come to bring. And she needs it. She is living a life that was far from God's desire for people. Her sin is public, out in the open. But Jesus offers her forgiveness. He offers it to you too. Nothing you have ever done so bad that God can't forgive. Jesus death on the cross is forgiveness for all your sin. He offers you living water, just as he did this woman.
Let us pray: Forgive our sins, Lord, we implore, That they may trouble us no more; We, too, will gladly those forgive Who hurt us by the way they live. Help us in our community To serve each other willingly. Amen. (LSB 766)
Devo ID: 93
July 9 2014
TDP: February 10;
Original Broadcast: Tuesday; 2009-02-10;
John 3:27-30, 36;
'John [the Baptizer] answered, "A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.' The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease." Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; (John 3:37-30, 36a, ESV)
John the Baptizer had a very important part to play in the life of Jesus. He literally gave his all for Jesus. Shortly after saying these words he was thrown into prison and his head was given to a teenager as a birthday present. John knew something about Jesus. "He must increase, but I must decrease." For a short time John held center stage. When Jesus came he gladly turned it over to him. He knew that Jesus was the Christ. That means that Jesus came to bring forgiveness of sins to the whole world. Through faith in Jesus and all that he has done we have eternal life. Forgiveness is our because of Jesus life, death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. This message was important enough for John to step aside, and even lose his life.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, John tells me of Jesus my savior, help me to hold on to Jesus in faith. Amen.
Devo ID: 92