Immanuel Voices
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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April 2, 2019, 8:23 AM

Daily Inspiration: Do You See What I See--The High Calling of Discipleship 2


The High Calling of Discipleship

 

Luke 18:18-20

And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “. . . You know the commandments. . . “

 

Thought for Today

For most people salvation is a transactional idea. The rich young ruler exemplifies this perfectly. As a Jewish man he had been raised to believe that he had to earn eternal life. It was a transaction with God. If he did his part, follow the Law, God would trade his obedience for eternal life. Interestingly, Jesus affirms this. When he asks, “What must I do to inherit eternal life” (emphasis mine). Jesus tells him to keep the commandments. That was, if fact, the deal that God made with them. If you keep the Law perfectly you can have eternal life. This is what we Lutherans call the Second Use of the Law. It sets the standard by which we can win God’s approval. The point is not that keeping the Law perfectly is difficult but possible. The point is that it is impossible. We are not capable of thinking, serving, and living perfectly before God. God uses the Law to drive us to His mercy. He wants us to come to Him and say, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Then God points to Jesus to show us another way. This is why the last thing Jesus says to the rich young ruler is “come, follow me.” For all those who can’t keep the Law, the Father sent Jesus.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, have mercy on me, for I know I cannot keep Your perfect Law. Thank You for sending Jesus to redeem sinners like me. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners. ― Soren Kierkegaard,

 

Quote of the Day

Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts. — John Wooden



Comments

04-02-2019 at 10:33 AM
Kelley Howard
The Daily Inspirations are wonderful!! Thank you for them.
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March 29, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Do You See What I See (Pharisees and Widows 5)


Pharisees and Widows

 

2 Corinthians 9:6-7
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

 

Thought for Today

Paul tells us that it is not God’s intention to guilt us into giving. He does not want us to resent our offerings to His Kingdom. God wants us to give joyfully. How do we do that? We give joyfully when we know that our gift makes a difference. We find joy in giving when we know that the time and money we have given has impacted someone’s life; has been a blessing to a person in need; or has allowed an important work, like the proclamation of God’s Word, to take place.. Do you know what your gifts to God through your church do? Do you know how many lives are touched with the Good News, how many people are fed around the world, or how many families in dire need found them miraculously met? You should. These are the reasons we give. This is where our joy is found! And if I want to increase my joy I increase my giving to extend God’s blessings to one more life.

 

Prayer

Lord, help me discover what gives me joy and connect it to my giving, that every gift to Your house would be a moment of excitement in my life. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

The greatest lesson you might ever learn in this life is this: It is not about you. ― Shannon L. Alder

 

God’s Impact through Immanuel by the Numbers

Not sure what impact your gifts have made in the past year? Here are some helpful numbers:

Meals Provided: 408,000

Orphans Who Received a Christmas Gift: 688

Sermons Listened to on the Web: 20,000

People Engaged in Music Ministries: 411

Families Who Received Direct Financial Assistance: 150

Worship Attendance for the Year: 28,000



Comments

04-01-2019 at 9:05 AM
Erica Ciro
Thank You Heavenly Father for blessing Your people at Immanuel so generously that we could join You in giving to those in need. Empower us to continue to be faithful stewards of the gifts You have given us that others might know You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
03-29-2019 at 7:18 PM
Bill P
Inspiring verse, explanation, quote and Immanual results!
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