April 9

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“Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God” (Luke 13:3 NLT).

From: April 9, 2018

CONSIDER YOUR OWN SINFULNESS
After hearing the news of certain Galileans being murdered by Pilate in Jerusalem and of those who died when the tower in Siloam fell, Jesus corrected the people’s assumption that those who died must have been the worst of sinners. Jesus asked, “Do you think this happened to them because they were the worst sinners?”
 
Jesus answered His own question with, “Not a all!” They didn’t die because their sin was worse than others. They perished because sin always brings suffering and death.
 
Jesus urged the people to stop focusing on the sins of others and to consider their own sinfulness. Stop thinking you’re good because someone else’s sin seems worse than yours. Instead, “repent” of your own sinfulness. Focus on your own condition. Admit your sin and ask God to help you repent of it. Turn away (“repent”) of your sin and turn to God.
 
God doesn’t measure you by calculating your good works vs. you evil works. Nor does He compare you to the righteousness/unrighteousness of others. God judges you according to His standard of righteousness. And only One person has measured up to this standard–– Jesus. Therefore, repenting of your sins is recognition of your desparate need of Jesus as Savior. And turning to God is surrendering your will to Jesus as Lord.

‘Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches”‘ (Luke 13:18-19 NKJV).

From: April 9, 2017

The planting and growth of the gospel is like the small, yet ultimately great growth of the mustard seed. The gospel seed was planted by Jesus into His small band of followers. It went unseen and unnoticed by most of the world at that time. Yet, before even a generation had passed, the apostles had carried the gospel throughout the Roman empire and beyond. Today, even many nations rest like birds on the branches of the gospel, supported by its work in men.
 
Have you received the mustard seed of the gospel? Have you planted it in your family and in your city? It always starts out small and barely seen, but it grows to have huge results!

“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad” (Proverbs 12:25 NKJV)

From: April 9, 2015

Are your words a pressure cooker or a pressure release for others? When you see someone struggling with anxiety, do they need something more to worry about? Or do they need a “good word” that lifts them up? Consider how people perceive you. When they see you coming, what do they expect? Does anxiety grow in them, anticipating criticism or trouble? Or do they lean towards you, hungry for the blessing of your words? Of course, the best word is God’s Word. Fill your heart and mind with His Word and you’ll find that it flows from your tongue when needed to bless others.

“He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands” (Psalm 78:72 NLT)

From: April 9, 2014

This is a description of King David, whom God took from the sheep pens to the throne room and made a shepherd over Israel. God loves taking the least and raising them up to prominence. And God cares more for the inner than the outer life. He knew David’s heart. He knew that he could be trusted with God’s people. David “cared” for God’s people. David had a “true heart,” a heart of integrity. There’s a character trait greatly needed in our presidents and pastors today! But he wasn’t just all passion and no competence. No, he had hands to match his heart, God had given him skill with people and with administration. David was the shepherd king, the greatest king Israel had known. He was the foreshadowing of the true Shepherd King, which is Christ Jesus the Lord. Christ’s heart and hands are unmatched! He is the Shepherd who willingly lay down His life for the sheep.

“To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened” (Luke 13:20-21 ESV)

From: April 9, 2013

One of many parables of Jesus describing the kingdom of God (or heaven). This parable teaches the “small to great” effect of the kingdom. That just a little leaven causes the whole bread to rise, perhaps points to the small gathering of disciples in an obscure country that will turn the world upside down with the gospel. God often chooses the little to affect the great, the weak to overturn the mighty, the foolish to confound the wise. The kingdom may be “hidden” for a time, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t at work making everything new.