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April 16

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“I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:17 NLT).

From: April 16, 2019

THE NECESSITY OF CHILDLIKE FAITH

After Jesus rebuked his disciples for preventing parents from bringing their children to Jesus, he gave this spiritual principle concerning the kingdom of God. Those who would desire entrance into the kingdom must first receive it “like a child.”
 
These questions arise: How does a child receive the kingdom? What is it about a child’s reception of Jesus that is of necessity? Perhaps the following should be considered.
 
A child is small both in fact and in self awareness. He is not tempted to think too highly of himself. So certainly the humility of a child is the essence of childlike faith. Along with this there is the lack of close mindedness and bitter skepticism that grows in adults who think they know the nature of life, when in fact, they know nothing. A child admits their lack of knowledge. All of this comes out of the humility of childlikeness.
 
The bigger and fuller we get, the harder it is to stoop down low, in order to enter the narrow gate into the kingdom. But when we admit that we are empty and small, we are blessed. For such is the kingdom of heaven.
 
PRAYER: Lord, we thank you that you have given the kingdom to those with childlike faith. You have allowed us to often hit lows in our lives in order to recognize our need of you. Forgive us our pride and self effort. We come to you afresh today as children. Give us our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Protect us from temptation. Help us to live for you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner” (Luke 18:13 NLT).

From: April 16, 2018

THE SIMPLE YET POWERFUL PRAYER FOR MERCY
Jesus told a parable about a Pharisee and tax collector who went to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee thanked God for his superior position above others in this life. He compared his own righteousness to that of those around him and considered himself right with God. The tax collector confessed that he was a sinner and prayed for God’s mercy. Whose prayer was answered? Both. The tax collector received the mercy from God he requested and went home in a right relationship with God, his sins forgiven. The Pharisee who asked nothing from God, for he felt self-satisfied and self-justified, went home having received nothing from God.
 
We live in a world where people are like the Pharisee. They are self-satisfied and self-justified. They see no need for God’s mercy. For they consider themselves as good. Yet, to those who confess their sin and admit their need for a Savior, Jesus will hear and answer their simple yet powerful prayer for mercy.

“Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth shall spring out of the earth, And righteousness shall look down from heaven.” (Psalm 85:10-11 NKJV).

From: April 16, 2017

Personifying the divine attributes, the psalmist wrote of a day when mercy and truth would finally meet and righteousness and peace would greet one another with a holy kiss. The result of this union would cause truth to burst like a seed from the earth and righteousness to shine down from the flung open windows of heaven.
 
Surely this meeting is fulfilled in Christ. For God’s mercy and truth intersected in Christ on the cross. God’s truth and holiness put Him there to die in our place and God’s love and mercy were the nails that held Him fast. God’s desire for our righteousness and for peace and reconciliation between God and humanity were met in the Messiah like a kiss, as He tasted death for us. Yet, the Truth sprang from the earth on the third day. He has flung open the windows of heaven, so that righteousness shines down on those who follow Him.
 
All the divine attributes are met in Christ. The Son of God was crucified, buried and raised on the third day. He is risen! Let all the earth rejoice!

“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.” (Joshua 14:12 NKJV)

From: April 16, 2015

Caleb was one of the 12 spies who Moses sent into the Promised Land. He and Joshua were the only two who gave a positive report. The people were swayed by the majority report and became fearful, doubting God. This resulted in 40 years in the wilderness to raise up a new generation of faithful warriors. Only Caleb and Joshua remained from the adults who first left Egypt. Caleb was 40 years old when he first saw the land flowing with milk and honey. He was 85 years old when he asked Joshua to give him the mountains, to give him the giants, for he was still as strong as he was 45 years before. He could have asked for anything. He could have requested a nice walled city or a grassy plain, but he asked for the hills of Hebron and the land of the giant Anakites who made men feel as grasshoppers in comparison. When others would want their retirement and days spent fishing, Caleb still wanted to accomplish things for God. Many men begin well, but few finish well. Caleb finished better than he started. If the Lord allows me to live until 85, may He grant me the passion and strength to ask for the mountain!

“I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me” (Joshua 14:11-12 NLT)

From: April 16, 2014

Caleb was one of the 12 spies who Moses sent into the Promised Land. He and Joshua were the only two who gave a positive report. The people were swayed by the majority report and became fearful, doubting God. This resulted in 40 years in the wilderness to raise up a new generation of faithful warriors. Only Caleb and Joshua remained from the adults who first left Egypt. Caleb was 40 years old when he first saw the land flowing with milk and honey. He was 85 years old when he asked Joshua to give him the mountains, to give him the giants, for he was still as strong as he was 45 years before. He could have asked for anything. He could have requested a nice pre-built city or a grassy plain, but he asked for the hills of Hebron and the land of the Anakites who made men feel as grasshoppers in comparison. When others would want their retirement and days spent fishing, Caleb still wanted to accomplish things for God. Many men begin well, but few finish well. Caleb knew how to finish better than he started. May God make us a generation like Caleb!

“Let me hear what God the LORD will speak” (Psalm 85:8 ESV)

From: April 16, 2013

We tell our children, “Don’t forget to say your prayers.” But praying should be a two-way conversation, not just “saying” but listening. It’s hard to teach our children what we have yet to learn. You can begin today. Start by asking God to speak to you and then join the psalmist in waiting to hear the Lord’s voice. Follow the old prophet Eli’s advice to young Samuel, by saying, “Speak, for thy servant heareth” (1 Sam.3:10).

“Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me” (Joshua 13:10-12)

From: April 16, 2012

Caleb was 40 when he first scouted the promised land. Forty-five years later he was still full of faith and action for God. Caleb finished well.

“Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day” (Joshua 14:12)

From: April 16, 2011

What Caleb said at age 80 when asked what land he wanted. He didn’t want to retire and play golf. He wanted the land of the giants. He wanted to finish well for God!