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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: June, 2015
Jun 5, 2015

HOST: Michael Whitworth

SPONSOR: Logos Bible Software

And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

This passage is parallel to yesterday’s reading, but Mark gives us a little more background information. The apostles’ query recorded in Matthew 18:1, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” was motivated by their debate on which of them would be the greatest, and by the implied desire of each of them to be in that position. The desire to be great is a common one among people. We like the idea of being prominent, sought after, influential, and admired. It is a goal that many spend their lives chasing after. But Jesus teaches the vital lesson that, with God, greatness means service. One who is great is not served by others, but is himself a servant. Contrary to the thinking of the world, the person who would be great in the eyes of God must clothe himself with humility and put others before himself. In this way, we become more like God and His Son and fulfill His will in our lives, thus becoming great in His kingdom. May God help us all to be great by being servants.

Why is God so concerned with our being servants?

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

Jun 4, 2015

HOST: Michael Whitworth

SPONSOR: Logos Bible Software

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Children are special, not only in our eyes, but also in the eyes of God. They possess traits that God desires for all of us to have in our lives. Their innocence, honesty, forgiving nature, and joy are all characteristics that we should aspire to. But there is one child-like quality that stands above the others. Jesus says, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” As humans, we come into this world in humility. We have nothing of our own and can do nothing for ourselves. Children readily accept that dependence on their parents, and in their relationships with others, they are willing to share, serve, and quickly forgive. Oh, that we could become more like little children, recognizing and accepting our dependence upon our heavenly Father and being willing to share with and serve those around us. Only in this humility can we hope to find greatness in the kingdom of heaven.

Why is humility such an important trait of the Christian life?

 

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

Jun 3, 2015

HOST: Michael Whitworth

SPONSOR: Logos Bible Software

When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”

Jesus, here, teaches us a valuable lesson concerning our relationships and influence on others. As the Son of God, He was not obligated to pay the temple tax. He had every right to refuse. But lest He cause offense to the Jewish leaders, He paid the tax with the coin that was miraculously placed in the mouth of the fish that He instructed Peter to go catch. So often, we are prone to passionately defend our rights and do so regardless of the effect that our stance might have on others. When we adopt this mindset, our “rights” become more important than someone else’s well-being, and possibly their soul. Certainly, there are times when our faithfulness to God depends on our standing up for what is right and putting God’s will above all else. But there are many times when proper discretion would urge us to put aside our rights, such as Jesus did, in order to avoid the negative influence of offense. As Paul would later write: “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful; ‘all things are lawful,’ but not all things build up” (1 Corinthians 10:23).

Why should we be concerned about offending others with our “rights”?

 

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

Jun 2, 2015

HOST: Michael Whitworth

SPONSOR: Logos Bible Software

 

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

We are reminded in this passage of the ultimate purpose of Jesus’ life in this world. While He came to show us God, to do good, and to leave an example that we might follow, He came ultimately to offer Himself as an atoning sacrifice on the cross. Even while in the midst of the demands of His daily ministry, His eventual death and resurrection was never far from His mind. As that time grew ever closer, Jesus began to try to prepare His apostles for it. On this occasion, He avoids the crowds in order to spend some private time with those closest to Him in order to teach them about His coming sacrifice. He wants them to understand. He wants them to be prepared. He wants them to find comfort in the fact that His death, while harsh and brutal, would not be final. Unfortunately, the apostles were not yet ready to understand, and Jesus would have to continue to patiently prepare them for His coming death.

Why do you think the apostles did not understand what Jesus was telling them?

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

Jun 1, 2015

HOST: Michael Whitworth

SPONSOR: Logos Bible Software

And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

Though there are many lessons to be learned from this text, I would like to focus on one statement made by the father of the possessed boy. “I believe; help my unbelief!” What a beautiful statement both of faith and of his struggle with faith. He believed. He had brought his son to Jesus for healing. He had trusted in Jesus’ power over the demon that was afflicting his child. But he struggled. He struggled to believe that his son could really be freed from the evil spirit’s grasp and made whole. He struggled to trust that the nightmare that his family had been living could really come to an end. He had faith, but he needed for that faith to be strengthened. The thing that impresses me most about this man is the brutal honesty with which he responds to Jesus. How many of us can relate to this man and his struggles? We trust God. We know that He hears our prayers and answers according to His will. We know that He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. We know that He loves us and is caring for us. Yet we worry, we question, we struggle. Lord, we believe. Help our unbelief!

What can we do to help overcome our struggles with faith?

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

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