Immanuel Voices
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March 19, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Do You See What I See (The Little Children 2)


The Little Children

 

Luke 18:10-12

Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’

 

Thought for Today

Jesus begins His parable with two men walking into the temple to pray. The first person we meet is a Pharisee. The name “Pharisee” means “one who is separated.” This is an instructive title. Israel is set apart by God as His holy nation. In the midst of God’s set-apart people is a class that is considered so holy that they are separated, above even from God’s holy people. They certainly seem to take this idea seriously. As we hear this Pharisee pray we discover that, if his words can be believe, he is a good man. He takes care of his family and community. He gives generously and goes his spiritual disciplines are more than what God requests. The people is that he is so pleased with himself that he cannot see the corruption of his pride. His prayer celebrating his devotion is offensive to God. We need to acknowledge that worldly goodness is good. It is a good thing when you take care of your family and give generously. Even those who don’t know God can do good in the world. The problem is that this worldly righteousness doesn’t score any points with God. God is looking at the heart, looking for faith. He loves people who do good with a humble heart. Pride, indeed, goeth before a fall. So as you go about your day today do good, but check your heart in the process. Give thanks to God for providing the opportunities to do good in the world.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, help me to honor You today by doing good with a humble and thankful heart. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

A righteous man does not conceive of himself as righteous; he is "only doing what anyone else would do," except, of course, that no one else does it. ― Martin Berman

 

Quote of the Day

Let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising loving kindness, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight. – the LORD.

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March 18, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Do You See What I See (The Little Children 1)


Do You See What I See?

The Little Children

 

Luke 18:9

[Jesus] told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt. . .

 

Thought for Today

How do you present challenging information? We live in a culture that is very direct and easily offended. People like to come right out as say what they think with very little tact and those hearing it are offended before they even stop to consider whether it is even worth being offended over. Interestingly, Jesus lived in a similar climate. People were highly charged by the issues of His day and the religious establishment was quick to take offense at the slightest inference that you disagreed with them. How did Jesus handle this? Instead of directly challenging people Jesus told parables. Jesus would tell hypothetical stories about people everyone know by type and challenged them to draw their own conclusions about his scenario. They were welcome to disagree with him, but they would have to think about it first. I think we can learn a lot about how to address American culture from Jesus. Talk about issues rather than vilifying people or groups. And couch the issue in a way that will force them to think about whether they agree or disagree. Don’t allow knee-jerk reactions by your presentation. This is how Jesus would address our family and friends today.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, teach me wisdom in dealing with people. I have important things to share. Never let the way I present it get in the way of their considering what I have to say. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

By telling stories, Jesus isn’t somehow putting sugar in a spoon to make the medicine go down a bit easier. These stories are the medicine. These stories are an extension and explanation of Jesus’ revolutionary ministry. These stories show us that things are not as they appear. Our tidy, well-packaged ideas about spirituality, faith, and reality shatter when confronted by Christ and the God he represents. ― Ronnie McBrayer

 

Quote of the Day

Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself. ― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta



Comments

03-18-2019 at 6:12 PM
Melba Layton
Thanks for the devotion and advise on dealing with offensive comments. Our Lord taught us how to handle and deal with them.
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March 15, 2019, 8:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Do You See What I See (The Kingdom of God 5)


The Kingdom of God

 

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

 

Thought for Today

The Kingdom of God is something we are called to seek. People use different terms for the moments when God breaks into their world: “God sightings,” “I spys,” or “God winks.” Whatever you call them, you are really seeing God’s Kingdom peeking through into our mundane world. Jesus always had His eyes open to where His Father was working, because that was where the Kingdom was advancing. He saw God at work in James and John and called them to be His disciples. He saw God at work in Lazarus, high up in a tree, and invited Himself over for dinner. We are called to do the same thing, to seek His Kingdom. We are to look for where a glimpse of God’s love, will, or power are breaking through into our world and go join Him there. It makes every day an adventure. Open your eyes this weekend and seek His Kingdom wherever He takes you.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, give me eyes to see Your Kingdom and, rejoicing, to join You in Your amazing work in the world. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

I believe Jesus wasn't thinking about the miracle when He performed it.
He's just doing normal activities as he did in His heavenly kingdom. ― Toba Beta

 

Quote of the Day

The kingdom is nearby, adjacent to our own reality, present, yet veiled in the boundaries we avoid, and in the margins we protect ourselves from. So there is no riddle. The eschatological reality is here, yet we feel the urge to evade it, and the lure to ignore it. ― Vitor Westhelle

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