Immanuel Voices
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August 15, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Unpacking Our Purpose: Today's 1


Today

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.

 

Thought for Today

The second word in our purpose statement is small but critical: Developing Today’s Disciples. Today is a new day with unique challenges and understandings. The church has always supposed to have been about developing disciples. However, we do not live in the world of 2000 years ago. We understand how the brain works in ways we never did before. These understandings have led us to a better grasp of why relationships are the key to discipleship, not formulaic education. We are called to raise up a people committed to building the kingdom of God in our generation. We need to learn from the past and prepare for the future. This is a challenging calling. It is much easier to sit on the past than to walk toward the future. This little word “today’s” is a constant reminder that God’s work is not done inn us.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help us to be faithful to You in all things, to honor the past, the stand on the truth, and to walk boldly into the future with You. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

Only God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The Church has always been changing. — Gene Robinson

 

Quote of the Day

What worked yesterday doesn't always work today. ― Elizabeth Gilbert

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August 14, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Unpacking Our Purpose: Developing 3


The Process of Salvation

 

Romans 6:4

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

 

Thought for Today

God worked through process when He decided to redeem His fallen people. He could have just snapped His fingers, reversed time and declared that humanity’s fall into sin never happened, or restored us in some other instantaneous manner. Instead, He set in motion a process that has taken some twelve thousand years and involved coming personally in the person of Jesus to endure the torture of the cross on which He bore our sins away. The process He started has not even finished yet! Your life is no different. If you are a Christian at some point you were introduced to Jesus. It may have been through the waters of Baptism, finding a Gideon’s Bible in your hotel room, or a conversation with your grandmother. In that encounter you discovered that Jesus had taken your sins away and you became a child of God. This was the beginning of the process of redemption in your life, not the end. In that moment God declared that according to His sight in heaven you were now pure, sinless and holy. Then He sent the Holy Spirit to begin to make true on earth what He had declared in heaven. It is through the working of the Holy Spirit in your life (called sanctification) that you begin to have a real, personal relationship with the Jesus who took away your sins. You begin to hear His voice, learn to obey His direction, and discover the grand adventure He has planned for you. Another word for this process is discipleship. Immanuel is committed to partnering with you and the Holy Spirit to help you live fully into this process of discipleship.

 

Prayer

Holy Spirit, grant me the will and desire to become more of what my Heavenly Father has already said is true of me in heaven. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

For those who feel their lives are a grave disappointment to God, it requires enormous trust and reckless, raging confidence to accept that the love of Jesus Christ knows no shadow of alteration or change. When Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened," He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged, and disheartened along the way. These words are a touching testimony to the genuine humanness of Jesus. He had no romantic notion of the cost of discipleship. He knew that following Him was as unsentimental as duty, as demanding as love. ― Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

 

Quote of the Day

To be as good as our fathers we must be better, imitation is not discipleship. — Wendell Phillips

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August 13, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Unpacking Our Purpose: Developing 2


God of Process

Mark 4:26-28

And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

 

Thought for Today

We often want God to snap His fingers and change the world, answer our prayers, or make us into the kind, patient people we long to be. However, God doesn’t normally work that way. When God wanted to create the universe and everything in it He could have snapped His fingers and made it so. Instead, He chose to do it in seven days. After Adam and Eve were formed the plan was that every subsequent generation would start babies and grow to adulthood. When God wanted to build a nation He could have chosen the entire Caldi nation. Instead He chose a single childless man, Abram, and promised to give him a nations worth of descendants. God delights to work through people, things and time to accomplish His will. He invented the organic model. This is how God works in our lives as well. He grows us through process to become the children He has declared us to be and it is beautiful.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to be patient as You work in my life. Let me grow at exactly the rate that brings You glory. Amen

 

Devotional Quote

The central task of the universe today is extending the kingdom of God into every corner of human life, one follower at a time, one conversation at a time. That's what Jesus is concentrating on, and that's what we should be spending the best part of our time and energy doing. You may have assumed that the most important thing you could be doing with your life is selling carpet... raising kids... governing... discovering a cure for cancer... or pastoring the second-largest church in a small town. Those are all worthwhile endeavors, but each one of those tasks is only significant when it is a subtask of the grand objective: building the kingdom of God. ― D. Michael Henderson

 

Quote of the Day

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. — William James

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