Immanuel Voices
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April 5, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Do You See What I See--The High Calling of Discipleship 5


The High Calling of Discipleship

 

Luke 18:28-30

And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

 

Thought for Today

Jesus has shared many challenging things with us in the past few weeks. The high calling of discipleship can become very taxing if it is all we hear. However, Jesus does express to His disciples the high reward of discipleship. After hearing Jesus’ challenge to the rich young ruler they become concerned that they may not have done enough to win God’s favor. Jesus tells them something surprising. He tells them that God is keeping score. He is not keeping score of your sins, faults or failures. He is keeping track of your sacrifices. God understands the cost of following His Son. He knows that we will be called to leave some comfortable things behind. We may have to leave some relationships behind to follow Jesus. It is wonderful to know that God not only notices but tells us that repays us for our sacrifices many times over. He repays as He meets the needs of this life. He repays us as He sends unexpected blessing, healings, compassion and grace. He repays us with the reward of everlasting life in His eternal kingdom. What is most amazing is that, while our sacrifices seem great to us at the time, they are a pittance compared to God’s grace and care. He sees every small sacrifice as a great act of faithful service and rewards it well beyond what we think they are worth. So as you worship God this weekend, rejoice. For great is your reward!

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I thank You for noticing all of the things I do for You. Though they don’t amount to much in my eyes, I rejoice knowing that they are of great worth to You. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now. ― Rick Warren

 

Quote of the Day

Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to. ― Mitch Albom

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April 4, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Do You See What I See--The High Calling of Discipleship 4


The High Calling of Discipleship

 

Luke 18:22

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

 

Thought for Today

The first prescription Jesus gave on how to inherit eternal life was to give up anything you have placed before God and put all your trust in Him. The second was to follow Jesus. What would the rich young man see if he were to follow Jesus for just that one week? Why he would see all of Lent playout before his very eyes. He would go with the disciples to the upper room and have Jesus wash his feet. He would see Jesus break the bread, declaring it His body broken, and taste the first cup of Jesus very blood in with and under the wine. He would pray in the garden of Gethsemane and see Judas lips offer the betraying kiss. He might have stood with Peter outside the trial as the rooster crowed and been stunned to hear the crowd cry out, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” He would have shuttered when the hammer struck the nail and stared in wonder as the noonday sky turned black. He could have heard Jesus’ strangled cry, “It is finished!” and watched His body sag lifelessly on the cross. He would have marveled on Sunday morning to hear the women say His body was gone but they saw an angel declare, “He is not here. He has risen.” How much money do you think that rich young man would have given to experience all this? What would you give? Jesus says to you, “Come, follow me.” Are you willing to miss what happens next for the sake of your comfortable life? It promises to be amazing!

 

Prayer

Lord, it is always difficult to trade the comfort of today for the hope of tomorrow. Give me courage to give up everything you ask me to and follow you on the greatest adventure of my life. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

Every generation has to ask difficult questions about what does it mean to follow Jesus. — Rob Bell
 

 

Quote of the Day

I would rather be an artist than a leader. Ironically, a leader has to follow the rules. ― Criss Jami

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April 3, 2019, 5:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Do You See What I See--The High Calling of Discipleship 3


Plan A

Luke 18:20-22

[Jesus said,] “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And [the ruler] said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

 

Thought for Today

The rich young ruler wants to know how to obtain eternal life. He wants to be sure that he will go to heaven when he dies. Jesus gives him a two part prescription. We consider the first part today. Jesus tells him to sell all that he has and give it to the poor. As Jesus looked into the young man’s heart he saw the thing he trusted in first was his money. When a problem arose the young man knew he would be okay because he had enough money to solve most any problem. God was plan B if the money didn’t solve the problem. Though we are reluctant to admit it, this is true for most of us. We live in the wealthiest place and time in the history of the world. For all of our challenges, people who live at the poverty line in America have the same standard of living as those with median income in Europe. Most of us are confident that we can handle most problems the world throws at us because we have the financial resources to do so. This doesn’t mean we never worry about money, it means that for most of money is the first thing we think of when a problem arises, it is our plan A. Jesus understands this trap. God does not want to be plan B in your life. God wants you to be confident that you can handle any trial that comes your way because He is with you. And if you know God is with you and for you, then you won’t need a plan B at all. You will be free to use every other resource He shares with you to serve others because you know that God will handle anything that comes your way. So Jesus tells the rich young man to sell what he has placed his security in and make God his plan A. Then he would find joy and fulfillment in giving it all away. How about you? Honestly, what is your plan A for handling problems? Do you need to change it?

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I confess that I often put my trust in _________. Help me to learn to put my trust in You first and foremost. For knowing You are with me is the only security I need. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don't need to search any further for security. ― Elisabeth Elliot

 

Quote of the Day

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. ― Henry David Thoreau

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