Devotion for Thursday, February 8, 2024

“So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt” (Matthew 2:14).

It is almost as if the Lord is retracing the steps backwards through time, away from the Jewish kings, through the wilderness where the law was given, and into the slavery of Egypt.  Jesus has come to fulfill prophecy and make all things new.  This is done amidst the fight against principalities and forces that hate God and desire to see complete destruction and rejection of all that the Lord has established.

To what lengths will the Lord go to resurrect you into the new life?  The price He paid for your redemption is in the story of the Gospel.  He did these things so that you would have the opportunity to live life now and forever as it is meant to be lived.  Empowered by Him, there are others who were faithful and helped to make things happen as they needed to happen.

Lord, I am here, listening to Your word, because of others who have faithfully carried the Gospel message to me.  Some of them have done so through great peril to themselves.  Help me to join with the communion of saints knowing that You have come to redeem all of those who will journey with you through all the sinfulness of this world in order to be made new.  Make me new in You, Lord Jesus.  Amen.




Devotion for Wednesday, February 7, 2024

“Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him” (Matthew 2:13).

After the Lord provided for Jesus with gold, Joseph is instructed to leave Bethlehem.  The world still wants to kill Jesus.  The One who is eternal cannot be eliminated.  They killed Him and He rose again.  You who follow the Lord, know that they will try to kill you.  Let nothing distract you from following the Lord, even if He asks you to pack up things and move.  The final portion of the Great Commission is for us to learn how to obey.

Lord, thank You for the witness of Joseph.  He heard You and obeyed.  What will it take for me to have enough faith to obey You as Abraham, Moses, the prophets, and Joseph did?  Create in me a willing heart that hears and obeys.  You have provided for me before I take the first step, so teach me how to step out in faith.  May I be encourage by examples such as these to always trust You.

Lord Jesus, as You were protected as a child, so also, Your protection is over us.  But I also know that this life too may be taken at any time.  Grant that I would have faith to step out, not based upon circumstances, nor even outcomes, but based upon obeying all that You command.  You are the author and finisher of my faith and You know what is coming.  Lead me to live by faith.  Amen.




Devotion for Tuesday, February 6, 2024

“And after being warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way” (Matthew 2:12).

The Magi were attuned to the speaking of the Holy Spirit.  As the Lord led them to Jesus, so also, the Lord led them away.  The met Herod and they knew the stories of his paranoia, but they also knew the leading of the Lord.  Somehow, in our age, we seem to want magic rather than wisdom.  Wisdom begins with fear of the Lord.  Magic is an imagination of the mind, for all power belongs to the Lord.

Lord, as the Wise men came to see baby Jesus and worship Him, so also, You call me to worship You.  You have spoken to me in many a various ways.  Help me to hear when You speak so that, with wisdom, I may obey when You direct me.  Lead me in the way that You intend, but also, help me to listen and follow.  Thank You for the witness of the Magi and their humble experience.

Lord, You have come so that we may go by another way, leaving this country and heading toward the new country which shall come after our resurrection.  Help me to not look back, but to move forward according to Your leading.  Guide me in Your goodness to know that only in You can I take even one step, let alone all the steps that are needed.  Be the light that shines before each of my steps as I follow You all the days of my life.  Amen.




Devotion for Monday, February 5, 2024

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And after they came
into the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary; and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:10).

Christmas night is often portrayed with the Magi beside the newborn Jesus. Jesus was born in a
stable and the Magi came to the house. In a way, time was slower then and not so hurried as in
our age where we want things wrapped up quickly. The gifts of providence to provide for the
Lord were provided. God’s timing and provision are always perfect. Worship the One who has
all things in His hands, including time.

Lord, I believe the convenient report of the packaged presentation of my culture over what Your
word says. Help me to pay attention, for every word You have spoken is there for a purpose.
Lead me to understand Scripture through the words of Scripture and right preaching, and not
through the interpretation of those who want to sell during the Christmas season. Guide me into
truth.

Lord Jesus, my salvation is dependent upon You and not upon my getting things right. Lead
me into the light of truth through Your word so that I may not be easily led astray by those
who follow their own hearts instead of You. Grant me a discerning mind who trusts that all
things are in Your hands and that You will make sure the timing in my life is according to
Your will. Thank You for the many ways in which You provide for us all. Amen.




Devotion for Sunday, February 4, 2024

“After hearing the king, they went on their way; and behold, the star, which they had seen
in the east, went on ahead of them until it came to a stop over the place where the Child
was to be found” (Matthew 2:9).

The Lord will lead those who are His. The Lord is our protector. Oh, why do we not believe and
humbly follow Him? As He led the Magi to baby Jesus, so He will lead us all the days of our
life. Keep your eye on the light of Jesus. Keep your eye on the prize. Jesus will lead you. Trust
in the One who knows all things and has come in order that you may have life in Him. Let Him
lead you all the days of your life.

Shining star of truth, reveal all things I need to know so that I may see and believe. Like
Abraham and the Magi, You have sent me on a journey of faith. Guide me Lord Jesus so that I
may humbly walk in the faith You have given me. Guide me in Your goodness and grace to not
lose focus, or stumble in darkness, but walk knowing that You are with me always.

My Savior and God, You have come to lead me this day in the way I need to go. Guide me in
Your goodness so that I may be faithful and follow where You lead. Help me to know that I do
not need to fear anything that comes my way in this life. Help me to trust in You always.
Guide me in Your goodness so that I may take additional steps of faith, trusting in Your
leading always. Amen.




Devotion for Saturday, February 3, 2024

“And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and
when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him”
(Matthew 2:8).

Liar! We know that, but they did not. How many times have you encountered someone who
could look you in the face and lie? Sadly, there are too many in this world who do just that.
They will pretend to be a friend of Jesus, but they are really an enemy. Be on the alert and be
wise as serpents, only follow the way of our Lord and worship Him alone. We fight against the
dark principalities and powers of this world.

Lord, grant that I would be discerning in an age with so much falsehood. I have been deceived.
Guide me to see through those who would deceive me so that I may walk in the truth. The Magi
humbly came to worship you and, out of respect for the authorities, came to Herod who did not
honor You. Help me to see the tension I live in so that I may walk faithfully, yet with shrewdness.

Holy Spirit, it is a battle against things I cannot see, yet You can make them known, Lord
Jesus. You must be the author and finisher of my faith, for I often do not know whom I am
facing. Father in heaven, You have called me to become Your child after the likeness of
Christ my Savior. Holy Triune God, lead me as I must be led so that I would worship




Devotion for Friday, February 2, 2024

“Then Herod secretly called for the magi and determined from them the exact time the star
appeared” (Matthew 7).

In paranoia, Herod wants to be rid of the threat. We live in a world filled with paranoid and
hostile people. The Lord has come to save us in spite of ourselves. We try to figure things out
and make them go the way we want. The Lord already knows how things will turn out and will
direct it such that all things will work together for good for those who come into the light of His
presence.

Lord, sometimes I too plot, but I do not consider it bad or wicked. The truth is, anything that is
not according to Your will is sin. Help me to focus upon living the life for which my Savior died
that I might be lifted up into a life like His. Who knows the exact time of anything except You,
Lord? Guide me to trust You who knows these things so that I may humbly walk in the faith You
have given me.

My Savior Jesus, born in the village of Bethlehem, bring me to You so that I may join the
Magi and worship You. You have gifted me with the gifts I have and called me through my
baptism to live into the life for which You have prepared me to live the right way by grace.
Always be the One who is the shining star for me to see and follow. Close my ears to the ones
who would lead me astray. Teach me humble faithfulness. Amen.




Devotion for Thursday, February 1, 2024

“They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the
prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are by no means least among the leaders of
Judah; For from you will come forth a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel’”
(Matthew 2:5-6).

Read the rest of the prophecy. Born in Bethlehem to be a shepherd. A leader, but not a
commander. Oh, how this world messes these things up. He who is worthy of all honor and
praise is our friend. He comes to care for us and lead us. Gentle, yes, but also the One through
whom all things have their being. He is the Good Shepherd who leads those who know that He
prevails against sin, death, and the devil.

Lord, Your word is so rich and deep as it tells what will happen, just as it told those then what
would happen. In all of these things, we know that You have come to give us new life in You.
You have come to be the Good Shepherd of the souls who trust in You. According to Your grace
and mercy, open the eyes and ears of the faithful to see and hear these things and lead us into the
fold of Your bride, the church.

Good Shepherd of my soul, guide me along right paths this day that I would see Your hand
leading me. Keep me from wandering to the edges of the places which are safe so that I may
be nourished by You, the Bread of Life. You have given Your life so that we who are in need,
may be fed with the heavenly food. Thank You for granting grace and mercy so that I may
dwell forever in Your house. Amen.




Devotion for Wednesday, January 31, 2024

“And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born” (Matthew 2:4).

In the Gospel, we have testimony that where Messiah was to be born was foretold ahead of time.  They knew it then.  How is it that some now say that these things were created to substantiate that Jesus is Messiah.  It’s been in Isaiah since he wrote it in the seventh century.  Messiah was born in the city of David, in Bethlehem, meaning “House of Bread.”  Jesus would tell us to take bread and remember.  Connect the two.

Jesus, everything means something.  The pretender king wanted to destroy You.  You are the Bread of Life who came to give that life to us.  You were born in the village of the House of Bread.  We tend to go about our business without thinking about what these things mean.  It all has significance and the greatest of all is that You, Jesus, have come to save our souls from the meaninglessness of this age.

Dear Lord, grant that this day I would be given the gift of being able to meditate upon these things which You have given me.  Lead me to walk in the light of Your countenance now and forever through the grace You have purchased from the cross.  You are the true manna which has come down from heaven to feed us the heavenly food that we may become as that which we consume.  Lead us in Your Holy and Triune Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.




Devotion for Tuesday, January 30, 2024

“When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him” (Matthew 2:3).

There’s a good “troubled” and there’s a bad “troubled.”  This is a bad troubled.  The idea of a real king taking the place of this imposter (Herod was not a Jew) was a part of the paranoia that caused him to have his own sons killed.  He did not want any threat to his throne, even though he would live only a couple years beyond the birth of Jesus.  Such is the wickedness of a mind fully corrupted by sin.  In sinful insanity, it is unable to reason.

The old Adam is corrupted by sin.  The old Adam dwells in us all.  Except for the grace of God, this could be you or me.  We too have our own paranoia.  The Lord has come to kill the old Adam and resurrect a child of God in the old Adam’s place.  This is the story of salvation and why Jesus has come.  What the world tries to destroy is the truth which cannot be destroyed.

Lord Jesus, the Light of the World, shine on me this day that all of the darkness of sin which is in me may be exposed.  Slay the sinner so that the one whom You redeem may rise, put Your cloak on, and walk as a child of the Light.  Lead me through these things so that I may become more like You, dear Jesus, and walk in the goodness of Your grace and mercy.  Lead as You will and help me to be a willing follower always.  Amen.