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Five Minutes with God

Five Minutes with God is a distinct and exciting approach to daily Bible devotionals. Instead of a lofty goal of going through the entire Bible—or even the New Testament—in one year, Five Minutes with God focuses on shorter passages so that the reader can absorb more of the text and apply it to everyday life. This daily podcast will step you through the Gospel accounts of the life of Christ. Each day’s podcast also ends with a thought for further reflection and a call to prayer. By reading, reflecting, and praying, Five Minutes with God will help you come to know Him, love Him, and follow Him like never before.
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Now displaying: April, 2015
Apr 5, 2015

HOST: Michael Whitworth

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Do we ever seek signs from Jesus? Though ours may not be as outward and obvious, there are times when we might require some “sign” from God in exchange for our faith and obedience. A sick loved one being healed, a financial hardship resolved, a trial in our lives taken away. If God will answer our prayers and provide these blessings for us, then we will be thankful and devoted to Him. But if He fails to deliver the things we ask for, we become angry, bitter, and skeptical of God’s worthiness of our faith. When we adopt this attitude, we require a “sign” just as the scribes and Pharisees did. But Jesus’ response to them is still true and relevant today. The only sign that will be given—the only one that should be required—is the “sign” of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. God sent His Son into the world to take on flesh and give Himself as an atoning sacrifice for all of mankind. Jesus then, after three days in the tomb, overcame death in the resurrection. There is no more proof needed that Jesus is the Christ, and that God cares for us. Thanks be to God!

Why do you think so many people fail to believe in Jesus as the Christ?

Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!

Apr 4, 2015

HOST: Michael Whitworth

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

These verses are reminiscent of Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount, teaching us that we can know a tree by its fruit (Matthew 7:15-20). In this passage, though, He specifically targets the words we speak, emphasizing that we will be accountable for and judged by them. The word "careless" in this text has a different meaning than we would give it today. It means malicious, slanderous, or harmful. He was still speaking to and about the Pharisees that had accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul, and He was warning them of the danger of speaking words of slander against the Holy Spirit. But more importantly, He reminds them (and us) that their words, and ours, come from what's in the heart. The real lesson of this text is deeper than just watching our words. It is that we must guard our hearts to protect them from unbelief and unholy influences that would turn us against God and cause us to think and say things that put our souls in peril. May God help us to strive constantly to be "good trees" that bring forth good fruit.

What are some things that we can do to guard our hearts against sin?

Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!

Apr 3, 2015

HOST: Michael Whitworth

Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

This is a difficult passage for us because it seems to fly in the face of everything we know and want to believe about God and His forgiveness. Is there really a sin that cannot be forgiven? This is, in fact, one of several New Testament passages that speak of an inability to receive forgiveness (Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-31; 1 John 5:16-17), but this passage is unique in pinpointing a specific sinful act that is unforgiveable—blasphemy against the Spirit. Why is this sin so severe that it cannot be forgiven? Remember that it is through the Holy Spirit that we have the word of God (see John 16:12-15; 1 Peters 1:12; 2 Peters 1:21). To blaspheme, or speak evil of, and reject the Holy Spirit is to reject our only source of truth leading to faith (Romans 10:17). Without faith, one cannot have forgiveness. The message of this passage (and the entire New Testament) is that if we are unwilling to believe in Jesus Christ and come to Him in faith and obedience, then we cannot have forgiveness and salvation.

Why is faith so vital to receiving forgiveness from God?

Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!

Apr 2, 2015

HOST: Michael Whitworth

Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

As Jesus so often does, He takes the accusations or criticisms of the Pharisees and turns them into a teaching moment about their (and our) relationship with God. In response to their claims that He was casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul, Jesus points out the absurdity of that idea. Why would Satan cast out Satan? How can one survive if he is against himself? Jesus uses simple logic to defeat their accusations, but then He makes an application of that very principle to Himself. "Whoever is not with Me is against Me..." It is simple, it is logical, yet it is often forgotten or misunderstood in our world. You either stand with Christ or against Him. There is no middle ground. A person cannot be neutral concerning Christ. If we say that we are with Him but live as if He doesn't exist, we are not really with Him but against Him. If we say that we love Him but ignore His teachings and commands, we are not with Him but against Him. May God help us always to be firmly and truly with Christ.

What are some ways that you might improve in being “with” Christ?

Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!

Apr 1, 2015

HOST: Michael Whitworth

One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

There are many lessons that come to mind from this reading, but I want to focus on one that we might overlook. This woman who is called a sinner (the label of "sinner" was reserved for the worst offenders of the Jewish law) comes to Jesus weeping. In fact, so copious were her tears that they were sufficient to wash Jesus' feet. The context makes clear that these tears were because of her sins—tears of sorrow, remorse, and repentance. Her heart had been touched by the words or actions of Jesus, and it had been broken by the recognition of her many sins. She came to Jesus in repentance and humility, desiring to give honor to Jesus and receive mercy from Him. It is for this reason that Jesus looks upon her with compassion and forgives her many sins. What a blessing it is to know that, despite our many sins and shortcomings, we have a God and Savior who is willing to show mercy toward us and forgive us. Oh, that we might learn from the example of this sinner who was broken-hearted over her sin and came to Jesus with a repentant heart.

Why should we be broken-hearted over sin?

Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!

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