Immanuel Voices
March 25, 2019, 7:21 AM

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


: Pharisees and Widows

 

Mark 12: 38-39

And in his teaching [Jesus] said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts

 

Thought for Today

One of the things that Jesus disliked most about the scribes and Pharisees was their self-importance. They were always worried about what other people thought of them and did everything in their power to appear important. They would loudly greet important people. They would sit in the front of the synagogue to be sure they were noticed. They would take the place of honor at banquets, always noting who sat ahead of them and who sat behind them. The problem with self-importance is that it leaves no room for love. If you are worried about yourself you don’t notice the needs around you. You won’t care for others beyond what they can do for you. The law of God’s kingdom is love. We are to love others more than ourselves. We are to care for the needs of others first, even our enemies. This is how God loved us. The irony is, when you care for others selflessly they honor you for your service. Your status will be elevated in the eyes of the ones you have loved. Everything the scribes and Pharisees desired would have been theirs if they had simply turned their attention to the needs of others first.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to look to the needs of others first today that they would be cared for and You would be glorified. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

Your religion is not what you do on Sunday. It is how you live Monday through Saturday. ― Shannon L. Alder

 

Quote of the Day

Truth is strong, and sometime or other will prevail. — Mary Astell

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March 22, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Do You See What I See (The Little children 5)


The Little Children

 

Luke 18: 17

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

 

Thought for Today

How hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus has been hammering this theme all the way to Jerusalem. It is hard of the rich, the self-righteous, and the busy to enter the Kingdom. It is hard because we want it to be about us at least a little bit. We want to be able to enter the Kingdom saying, “See what I did? Sure, Jesus did most of it, but I added this to it!” Jesus points to the little children as the model of the faith that is required to enter the Kingdom of God. Children belong to the Kingdom of God because they believe Jesus when He says they are part of His family. When you were growing up did you ever question why you belong to your family? No, we are born into a family and we accept that as our heritage. It simply is who we are and the family history is our history. Jesus says we need to receive the Kingdom of God like that. He said in your baptism you became a part of His family. That means His Father is your Father. His history is your history. You don’t earn your right to be a part of the family. It is yours by right. Why do we work so hard to earn the right to be in God’s family when it is ours by right? Receive the Kingdom of God like a child. Accept that it is simply true and rejoice that you are a part of God’s family!

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You that I am a part of Your family! Help me to live like I belong to You today. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

The kingdom of God is an upside-down kingdom. It beckons us to gamble all, to trust radically, to come and die so that we might live--to give our lives away. Giving life away is a paradox. It's losing so we can win. It's giving so we can receive. It's risking for security. It's faith. The kingdom of God means living that tension. ― Ken Wytsma

 

Quote of the Day

Who has a harder fight than he who is striving to overcome himself. — Thomas a Kempis

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March 21, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Do You See What I See (The Little children 4)


The Little Children

 

Luke 18: 15-16

Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.

 

Thought for Today

It was not unusual for mothers to bring their children to famous rabbis to have them blessed. With the stir that Jesus was creating I’m sure the ladies who traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover were hoping for a chance to meet Jesus and have Him bless their children. The disciples are understandably annoyed. There are very important people who want to meet Jesus, too. These important people should be the priority for Jesus. After all, little children will not increase their standing in Jerusalem. Jesus, on the other hand, takes this opportunity to drive home the point he had been trying to make about the Pharisee and the tax collector. He rebukes them for trying to send the mothers and children away. He points to the children and says it is exactly because they cannot do anything for themselves or anything to increase His standing that makes them so precious to Him. He is not looking for people who think they are important, He is looking for humble souls of simple faith. For by their simple faith in Him they are already a part of the Kingdom of God.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, Thank You for pointing to the children and reminding me that it is not what I can bring to You that You value, but that I simply trust. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

The devil can quote Scripture for his purpose; and the text of Scripture which he now most commonly quotes is, “The Kingdom of heaven is within you.” That text has been the stay and support of more Pharisees and prigs and self-righteous spiritual bullies than all the dogmas in creation; it has served to identify self-satisfaction with the peace that passes all understanding. And the text to be quoted in answer to it is that which declares that no man can receive the kingdom except as a little child. What we are to have inside is a childlike spirit; but the childlike spirit is not entirely concerned about what is inside. It is the first mark of possessing it that one is interested in what is outside. The most childlike thing about a child is his curiosity and his appetite and his power of wonder at the world. We might almost say that the whole advantage of having the kingdom within is that we look for it somewhere else. ― G.K. Chesterton

 

Quote of the Day

It is a great consolation for me to remember that the Lord, to whom I had drawn near in humble and child-like faith, has suffered and died for me, and that He will look on me in love and compassion. — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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