Immanuel Voices
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June 28, 2019, 4:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Elijah: God's Greatest Priority (5:4)


Elijah: God’s Greatest Priority

 

Romans 3:23-26 (NLT)

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

 

Thought for Today

Here is the resolution to the mystery of how God can be both just and merciful by nature. God cannot transgress either of these qualities, for to do so would deny who He is. However, God has established clear priorities even within His character. God places mercy over justice. He declares to His people, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6). So God developed a plan that would allow for both justice and mercy to be satisfied, but in which mercy predominates. God chose to gather all the sins committed by mankind and hold them in trust. When His Son, Jesus, was nailed to the cross at Calvary God opened that sin account and poured it all out on Jesus. The just punishment for every evil ever done, thought or said was exacted upon a willing victim. Jesus took our place under the full weight of the wrath of God against sin. In turn, we received God’s mercy, set free from the consequences of our sinfulness. Therefore, Paul can declare with confidence, “for [God] himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.” This is what Elijah learned when he heard God rejoice at wicked Ahab’s contrition: God’s greatest priority is mercy.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your mercy, on full display at the cross of Christ, help me to live gratefully toward You all the days of my life. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

Mercy and forgiveness must be free and unmerited to the wrongdoer. If the wrongdoer has to do something to merit it, then it isn't mercy, but forgiveness always comes at a cost to the one granting the forgiveness. ― Timothy Keller

 

Quote of the Day

Always seek justice, but love only mercy. To love justice and hate mercy is but a doorway to more injustice. ― Criss Jami

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June 27, 2019, 4:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Elijah: God's Greatest Priority (5:3)


Elijah: God’s Greatest Priority

 

1 Kings 21:28-29

And the word of the Lord came to Elijah, saying, “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days…

 

Thought for Today

To recap what has happened so far in 1 Kings 21, Jezebel has murdered a man to get Ahab the land he wanted for his garden. God has finally declared judgment against Ahab through Elijah. Ahab shockingly responded with mourning and contrition. Today, God comes to Elijah and invites him to witness what God has accomplished. How would you feel in this moment? If there was ever an “it’s not fair!” moment in Scripture this is it. According to God’s own words no one had ever done more evil in His sight than Ahab. He should at least be made an example of him as a warning to others. Instead, God marvels at Ahab. He is so excited that He wants to share the good news with Elijah. How can God withhold judgment, if being just is a part of His nature? How can God allow sin to go unpunished? How can God allow the king who rejected Him all his life to get a pass? Because mercy is also part of God’s nature. There is a technical answer we will cover tomorrow, but put simply, when God’s justice and mercy collide, mercy always wins. Mercy is God’s greatest priority.

 

Prayer

Holy Lord, while I know I deserve Your anger and punishment, for I know who I am, You have chosen to be merciful to me, a sinner. I praise You today for Your mercy in my life. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

You cannot conceive, nor can I, of the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God. ― Graham Greene

 

Quote of the Day

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. ― Abraham

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June 26, 2019, 4:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Pastor Donald Moll: Shepherd for the Lord


Rev. Don Moll—Shepherd for the Lord

 

Isaiah 40:11

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

 

Thought for Today

For those of you not of the Immanuel, Batavia, family I beg your indulgence for today. Immanuel has suffered a great loss in the past week and we gathered last evening to celebrate the life and ministry of the man who was truly her pastor, Rev. Donald Moll. Though I didn’t know him well personally, his finger prints are all over the hearts of the people he served. Pastor Moll was truly a shepherd. He was tender with God’s people. When you met him you knew that you had been near Jesus. He just radiated love and concern. It was never faked or forced. He just loved people. He loved them so much that at one point in his career he realized that his beloved church had outgrown his capacity to touch each heart and life personally and he had the integrity to move to a different church where he could get his loving arms around everyone. But his heart never left Immanuel. He returned in retirement to serve the great Shepherd by loving His people well. After he moved to Boise to be near family his returns were epic. I would marvel to see the people fly to the back of the church to greet him like a conquering hero returned. He loved well and in return he was loved well. Immanuel has a beautiful history of loving its imperfect servants with an inexhaustible love. I am honored and humbled to stand in that line. Pastor Moll and Pastor Weidler are incredibly hard acts to follow. To love like Pastor Moll and lead like Pastor Weidler are daunting challenges. They are men of unshakable integrity, who stood for their Lord through challenging times and honored Him well. I can’t think of a greater legacy of which to be a part. Pastor Moll, your life is now victoriously with Christ in heaven, but the flame of your love continues to burn in heart of each person you touched. Well done good and faithful servant!

 

Devotional Quote

The stamp of the Saint is that he can waive his own rights and obey the Lord Jesus. ― C.S. Lewis

 

Quote of the Day

When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet



Comments

07-02-2019 at 2:17 PM
Dawn-Marie
This is such a beautiful tribute! Thank you, Pastor Eric!
07-02-2019 at 10:17 AM
Penny
Love!
06-28-2019 at 11:00 PM
Karen Marchen
That brought tears. Thank you for reminding me how blessed I am to belong to the Immanuel family.
06-27-2019 at 8:46 AM
Gary Iteen
Missing his smiles and love. Beautiful tribute, beautifully said!
06-26-2019 at 12:36 PM
Erica Ciro
Beautiful!! And a reminder of how truly blessed at ILC to have such amazing pastors to shepherd us.
06-26-2019 at 11:49 AM
Susan Wauer
Heartfelt!
06-26-2019 at 8:56 AM
Diane Scheinpflug
Well said! Thank you for being our Pastor too!
06-26-2019 at 8:04 AM
Nina B.
Well said...
06-26-2019 at 7:08 AM
Tom Scott
Perfect.
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