Sky

All That I Need

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There was a barrier keeping the young man in Mark 10:17-31 out of the kingdom:  his love of money.  Money represented his pride of accomplishment and self-effort.  Ironically, his attitude made him unable to keep the first commandment, to let nothing be more important than God.  This man came to Jesus wondering what he could do; he left seeing what he was unable to do.

Jesus said it was very difficult for the rich to get into the kingdom of God because the rich have most of their basic physical needs met and thus often become self-reliant.  When they feel empty, they can buy something new to dull the pain that was meant to drive them toward God.  Their abundance becomes their deficiency.  Jesus explained that in the world to come, the values of this world will be reversed.

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional NT, April 20, Tyndale House Publishers. 2003.

I Hope to Meet You There

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Picture this:  A city shaped like a cube that covers the United States from the Atlantic coast to the middle of Kansas, and from Texas to the Canadian border-1,400 miles long, wide, and high.  It covers about two million square miles of land; but because it’s a cube with room for about 600 “floors”, all total it has 1.2 billion square miles of living space.  That’s the city the Bible calls the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2).

Sometimes people wonder whether there will be room in heaven for all the millions of believers destined to go there.  Based on the above dimensions, it would appear so!  The New Jerusalem is not heaven-it’s a city in heaven that will serve as the “capital” of heaven.  In it are the thrones of God and the Lamb, a river of the water of life, and the tree of life:  food, water, and Jesus Christ-everything needed to live forever.  The question is not whether there will be room in the New Jerusalem for everyone-there will be-but rather, will you be there?  Jesus has invited you to join Him there.

Commentary from the Pathways Devotional by David Jeremiah, May 11.

The city is laid out as a square;

its length is as great as its breadth.

And he measured the city with the reed:

twelve thousand furlongs.

Its length, breadth, and height are equal.

Revelation 21:16

Reliance

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Faith is not something tangible to be taken like medicine.  It is an attitude of trusting and believing.  But even our ability to believe is a gift from God.  No matter how much faith we have, we never reach the point of being self-sufficient.  Faith is not stored away like money in the bank.  Growing in faith is a constant process of daily renewing our trust in Jesus.

Jesus was telling the disciples that they would face difficult situations that could be resolved only through prayer.  Prayer is the key that unlocks faith in our lives.  Effective prayer needs both an attitude-complete dependence-and an action-asking.  Prayer demonstrates our reliance on God as we humbly invite God to fill us with faith and power.  There is no substitute for prayer, especially in circumstances that seem unconquerable.  

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, (2003), Tyndale House Publishers, April 15.

Do you not know?

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Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

Yahweh is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the whole earth.

He never grows faint or weary;

there is not limit

to His understanding.

He gives strength to the weary

and strengthens the powerless.

Youths may faint and grow weary,

and young men stumble and fall,

but those who trust in the Lord

will renew their strength;

they will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary;

they will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

I hope you have a wonderful day and a wonderful weekend!

Unseen

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Have you ever visited the Grand Canyon?  Standing on the rim, peering down into that immense chasm with its vast width and dizzying depths, it’s easy to be awestruck.  There’s an overwhelming sense of majesty and downright terror that we feel while standing on the edge-especially if we’re afraid of heights.  The fear of God is like that.  It isn’t an unhealthy fear, but an overwhelming sense of sheer greatness of God himself.

Touring the Grand Canyon doesn’t diminish our sense of awe; it increases it.  In the same way, having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ doesn’t lessen our fear of God; it enhances it.

The angels in heaven are in God’s direct presence, and their song reflects their worship,  “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

Familiarity with the Lord never leads to careless devotion.  We never “get used to” Him.  The closer we draw to our Lord, the greater He becomes in our eyes.  And that’s good because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways Devotional, March 2.