Immanuel Voices
August 13, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Unpacking Our Purpose: Developing 2


God of Process

Mark 4:26-28

And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

 

Thought for Today

We often want God to snap His fingers and change the world, answer our prayers, or make us into the kind, patient people we long to be. However, God doesn’t normally work that way. When God wanted to create the universe and everything in it He could have snapped His fingers and made it so. Instead, He chose to do it in seven days. After Adam and Eve were formed the plan was that every subsequent generation would start babies and grow to adulthood. When God wanted to build a nation He could have chosen the entire Caldi nation. Instead He chose a single childless man, Abram, and promised to give him a nations worth of descendants. God delights to work through people, things and time to accomplish His will. He invented the organic model. This is how God works in our lives as well. He grows us through process to become the children He has declared us to be and it is beautiful.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to be patient as You work in my life. Let me grow at exactly the rate that brings You glory. Amen

 

Devotional Quote

The central task of the universe today is extending the kingdom of God into every corner of human life, one follower at a time, one conversation at a time. That's what Jesus is concentrating on, and that's what we should be spending the best part of our time and energy doing. You may have assumed that the most important thing you could be doing with your life is selling carpet... raising kids... governing... discovering a cure for cancer... or pastoring the second-largest church in a small town. Those are all worthwhile endeavors, but each one of those tasks is only significant when it is a subtask of the grand objective: building the kingdom of God. ― D. Michael Henderson

 

Quote of the Day

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. — William James

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August 12, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Unpacking Our Purpose: Developing 1


Developing Today’s Disciples

Jesus’ Purpose

 

Matthew 28:19-20

And Jesus came and said to them, “…Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

 

Thought for Today

Why are we here? I don’t mean the grand ontological question of individual existence, I mean the church? What is our purpose? What did God intend when He created the Church? The answer depends on whom you ask. If you ask conservative Evangelicals you will likely get an answer like, “to save souls.” They would say we exist to find lost people bound for hell and change their eternal destiny. I would argue that this is a function of the Church but not its purpose. Others might say, “to proclaim the Word of God in truth and purity.” Again, I would argue that this is a function of the Church, you have to do this to be a church, but not its purpose. If you ask Jesus, the founder of the Church, why He placed the Church on earth, He would tell you, “to make disciples.” This is the last thing He told His disciples before He left for heaven: “Go and make disciples of all nations…” Saving lost sinners and proclaiming His Word are part and parcel to this mission, but neither is the endgame for Jesus. Jesus wants to gather people who know and love Him to be a part of the grand adventure of building His Kingdom! He wants to live, love, and grow with you every day. It is not a process that ended when you were baptized or came to faith. It is not finished when you have learned everything from His Word, if that were possible. It is a daily journey of living with Him, learning to hear and obey His voice, and knowing that He goes everywhere He asks you to journey. Discipleship is Jesus purpose for the Church. So when we say, Immanuel’s purpose is Developing Today’s Disciples what we mean is Immanuel is committed to helping you discover and grow fully into your relationship with God. That is why Jesus brought us together.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I praise You for calling me into a life-long relationship with You. Help me never to settle for less than what You want to do in and through my life. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

Many Christians live their lives as though Jesus finished His work in the first century. They seem to think that being a Christian is simply accepting the finished work of Christ, going to church every Sunday to express their worship, and waiting for His second coming. No, no, no. Jesus is working today, just as He did 2,000 years ago, to accomplish His cosmic mission... ― D. Michael Henderson

 

Quote of the Day

Discover a purpose that gives you passion. Develop a plan that makes you persistent. Design a preparation that motivates you to optimize your potentials. Do it because you love it! ― Israelmore Ayivor

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August 8, 2019, 4:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Lessons from an Over Flowing River-Momentum


Increased Momentum

 

Psalm 65:9-10

You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain,
for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges,
softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.

 

Thought for Today

The Fox River is usually a shallow, lazy river that runs through the middle of our town. When it hit flood stage I was very impressed at that speed of the current. The lazy little river began moving with determined purpose through our town. If you feel like your life has been meandering and a bit lazy lately, maybe you should focus on increasing the flow of God’s presence upstream. When we get more deeply connected to God and His mission it increases the flow of His love and purpose in our lives. This, in turn, increases the momentum in our lives. We pick up speed and find our determination. Life gets exciting again. This is one of the great benefits of increasing the flow in our lives.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, fill me to flood stage with Your presence and increase the momentum with which I live for You. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world. ― C.S. Lewis

 

Quote of the Day

It is not length of life, but depth of life. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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