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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: July, 2015
Jul 6, 2015

HOST: Ron House

SPONSOR: Start2Finish

The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Obviously, the seventy had followed Jesus’ instructions, and their faith and faithfulness had been rewarded by their great success, demonstrated even in the ability to cast out demons. This power over demons seen in Jesus’ disciples was a sign of the coming downfall of Satan that Jesus would accomplish through His death and resurrection. But Jesus’ accompanies this rejoicing over their success with a warning. “Do not rejoice in this...but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” As with all of us, there was the propensity with these disciples to rejoice in this authority over demons to the point that they would become haughty and arrogant, giving themselves the credit and praise for their abilities, and forgetting the true purpose of their work. Jesus reminds them that they must remain focused on the great blessing of salvation as their source of rejoicing, and in that recognition, be ever committed to sharing that message of salvation with others. What a great lesson for us to remember today!

What kinds of things can cause us to lose our focus on salvation today?

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

Jul 5, 2015

HOST: Ron House

SPONSOR: Start2Finish

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

There are many aspects of this event that are important and teach us valuable lessons about our own discipleship. But I want to focus on just one in this thought. Why did Jesus place such rigid restrictions on those He was sending out regarding the things they would carry with them, and how they would approach and interact with people along the way? While many suggestions might be offered, I believe Jesus was essentially trying to accomplish two things: 1) He wanted them to learn a dependence upon God instead of trusting in things. To approach this mission without “necessities” would have been a daunting task, but would teach them the great lesson that, as they put their trust in God, He would provide all that they needed. 2) He wanted them to avoid the distractions that often come with worldly desires and activities. Their purpose was singular: to go out as laborers in the field to prepare the way for Jesus and to bring in a good harvest for the Lord. Jesus wanted them to be totally focused on that purpose. These same lessons are very relevant for us today. As Christians, we are laborers for the Lord. May God help us work diligently for His harvest.

What are some of the things that often distract us from our mission?

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

Jul 4, 2015

HOST: Ron House

SPONSOR: Start2Finish

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

What a beautiful invitation! To those who are burdened, weary, and straining under the weight of their load, Jesus offers rest—relief from the hopelessness and despair of sin, rescue from the fear and dread of judgment, respite from the labors and struggles of life. He offers to help, comfort, strengthen, and bless us in ways that only He can. But there is a provision involved in that invitation. Our part is to take on His yoke, to allow Him to guide and direct our lives according to His will, to submit ourselves to His control. What He is truly asking is that we exchange one yoke for another. The one is the yoke placed on us by the world and Satan, a yoke that is heavy and burdensome, bound to us by sin. It is difficult, tiresome to bear, and ultimately destructive. But the yoke that Jesus offers in exchange is a yoke that is bound with love. It is light and easy. It always has our best interest in mind and ultimately leads to eternal life. What an amazing opportunity we have been given to escape the burdensome yoke of sin and find rest in the caring yoke of Christ!

Why is it important that we put on the yoke of Christ?

 

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

Jul 3, 2015

HOST: Ron House

SPONSOR: Start2Finish

Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”

While we do not know a great deal about Jesus’ activities in these towns, especially Chorazin and Bethsaida, there are two things that we can know for sure from this text: 1) Jesus had performed many great works in those places as a testament to His identity and power, and 2) Despite those works, these cities had remained hard-hearted and unrepentant, rejecting Jesus as the Son of God. The cities mentioned in comparison to those that Jesus had spent time in were among the most wicked and reviled of the Old Testament—cities filled with idol worship, immorality and ungodliness. But Jesus makes the cutting remark that, if those cities had been witness to His mighty works, they would have repented. These cities in which Jesus did much of His ministering work had been blessed with a great advantage and opportunity. They had been eyewitnesses to the power of God and had heard first-hand the truth from the Master Teacher. They were without excuse for not receiving Him and following Him. Much the same can be said of us. Christ has been revealed to us through God’s holy Word in such a way that we are also without excuse if we fail to come to Him!

Why do you think so many refuse to believe in Jesus?

 

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

Jul 2, 2015

HOST: Ron House

SPONSOR: Start2Finish

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Wherever Jesus went, He attracted great crowds and much attention. He displayed power and authority in an unprecedented way. For some, therefore, the idea of following Christ must have seemed a glamorous position of prominence and renown. For others, following Christ was viewed as a hindrance to their daily lives and routines, and something that could easily be put off. In this passage, Jesus warns against both of these attitudes and stresses the importance, commitment, and urgency of following Him. A life of following Christ is truly a life full of blessings and joy. It is the best and most abundant life imaginable. While following Christ should never be viewed as a burden, it is a life that requires a great deal of commitment. As followers of Christ, we must be willing to put Him above all else, be faithful to Him in any circumstance, and allow Him to rule our lives daily. It is indeed the best of all lives, for those who are willing to make the commitment!

Why does following Christ require such commitment?

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

Jul 1, 2015

HOST: Ron House

SPONSOR: Start2Finish

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.

“His face was set toward Jerusalem.” Don’t underestimate the meaning and importance of this statement. For some time, Jesus had focused His ministry on the area of Galilee and had avoided Jerusalem, but the time was drawing near for God’s plan of redemption to be accomplished. The purpose of Jesus going to Jerusalem was to die, to become the lamb of God and offer Himself as a perfect, spotless sacrifice for the sins of the world. It would be, from a physical standpoint, the most difficult, agonizing, and torturous event of His life. But spiritually speaking, it would be the most powerful and effectual act ever witnessed. Despite the great physical suffering that Jesus knew was before Him, the spiritual benefit was worth the sacrifice, and so He set His face toward Jerusalem. He resolved to go there and would not be turned aside. He was determined to see God’s plan carried out, even through His own sacrifice. His commitment to His Father’s will was absolute, and His love for us was overwhelming. What a great testament to the greatness of Jesus’ love and sacrifice.

Why might this journey to Jerusalem have been difficult for Jesus?

 

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

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