After my regular “dad” search to find our current devotional called “Kill the Noise“. Its description captured my attention when it spoke to “playing”, I over the years will say in meetings “let’s play pretend” which tends to allow people to come along and to make sure there isn’t any deception I tell them how it usually means “let’s play for real” so that we are on the same page and that most people will come along on playing pretend whereas others are hesitant to play for real. The description says it this way: “Too many people are playing at being Christians, and some haven’t yet taken even the first step of belief.” The key for us to grab hold of in order to be the dads God created us to be is that we need to draw closer to Jesus and allow Him into every aspect of our lives. Let’s be the dads who allow Jesus to be Lord of all of our lives so that we don’t end up where we discover that we never allowed Him to be Lord at all. Today’s intro speaks to us to be the dads that allow Jesus to continue to get closer to us when it says: “No matter where you are in your spiritual walk, Jesus wants you closer.” Let’s be the dads who are seeking God’s purpose, plan, and will for our lives! Let’s be the dads who grab hold of the reality that “He’s got a perfect plan for your life – a plan for purpose, peace, joy, and eternal life.” Let’s be the dads who choose to be authentic! Let’s be the dads who choose to be real! As this devotional says: “All it takes is you deciding that the poser life is not for you. You’re going to be fully committed!” Are you ready? Are you willing? Are you able? Remember all things are possible for those who believe! We will be the dads who are able as long as you believe, then God can do anything in your life! If you believe. you see, God is able to do all things, and he does them according to his plan and according to his purpose, and according to his will. That’s right, it takes faith!
Today’s devotional gets us started with the following verses:
‘Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and Pharisees have seated themselves in Moses’ chair [of authority as teachers of the Law]; so practice and observe everything they tell you, but do not do as they do; for they preach [things], but do not practice them. The scribes and Pharisees tie up heavy loads [that are hard to bear] and place them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not lift a finger [to make them lighter]. They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries (tefillin) wide [to make them more conspicuous] and make their tassels long. They love the place of distinction and honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues [those on the platform near the scrolls of the Law, facing the congregation], and to be greeted [with respect] in the market places and public forums, and to have people call them Rabbi. But do not be called Rabbi (Teacher); for One is your Teacher, and you are all [equally] brothers. Do not call anyone on earth [who guides you spiritually] your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not let yourselves be called leaders or teachers; for One is your Leader (Teacher), the Christ. But the greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be raised to honor.
“But woe (judgment is coming) to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven in front of people; for you do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow those who are [in the process of] entering to do so. [Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you swallow up widows’ houses, and to cover it up you make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation.] “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte (convert to Judaism), and when he becomes a convert, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears [an oath] by the sanctuary of the temple, that is nothing (non-binding); but whoever swears [an oath] by the gold of the temple is obligated [as a debtor to fulfill his vow and keep his promise].’ You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the sanctuary of the temple that sanctified the gold? And [you scribes and Pharisees say], ‘Whoever swears [an oath] by the altar, that is nothing (non-binding), but whoever swears [an oath] by the offering on it, he is obligated [as a debtor to fulfill his vow and keep his promise].’ You [spiritually] blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? Therefore, whoever swears [an oath] by the altar, swears both by it and by everything [offered] on it. And whoever swears [an oath] by the sanctuary of the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells within it. And whoever swears [an oath] by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it. “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you give a tenth (tithe) of your mint and dill and cumin [focusing on minor matters], and have neglected the weightier [more important moral and spiritual] provisions of the Law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the [primary] things you ought to have done without neglecting the others. You [spiritually] blind guides, who strain out a gnat [consuming yourselves with miniscule matters] and swallow a camel [ignoring and violating God’s precepts]! “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and robbery and self-indulgence (unrestrained greed). You [spiritually] blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the plate [examine and change your inner self to conform to God’s precepts], so that the outside [your public life and deeds] may be clean also. “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. So you, also, outwardly seem to be just and upright to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build tombs for the prophets and decorate and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have joined them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the [allotted] measure of the guilt of your fathers’ sins. You serpents, you spawn of vipers, how can you escape the penalty of hell? “Therefore, take notice, I am sending you prophets and wise men [interpreters, teachers] and scribes [men educated in the Mosaic Law and the writings of the prophets]; some of them you will kill and even crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues, and pursue and persecute from city to city, so that on you will come the guilt of all the blood of the righteous shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah [the priest], the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. ‘Matthew 23:1-35
‘As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew (Levi) sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk].” And Matthew got up and followed Him. Then as Jesus was reclining at the table in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews] came and ate with Him and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but [only] those who are sick. Go and learn what this [Scripture] means: ‘I desire compassion [for those in distress], and not [animal] sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call [to repentance] the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to change], but sinners [those who recognize their sin and actively seek forgiveness].”’Matthew 9:9-13
God’s Word is so amazing and powerful and useful. I chose to use the Amplified translation above to help us with more insight and details. Let’s be the dads who are willing to dig deeper even if it will take longer because we know that it is always worth it when we spend time with God and in His Word!
Let’s be the dads who are not only hearers and readers of God’s Word but let’s also be doers! God’s Word provides us with many points of wisdom, discernment, insight, and direction, so let’s be the dads who capture these nuggets and choose to live our lives in alignment with God’s purpose, plan, and will for us! Let’s accept what Jesus offers us because His yoke is easy and His burden is light! Let’s not pick up or carry along the weight of the world! Let’s not be people who try to put the weight of the world onto anyone else’s shoulders either! Let’s be the dads who choose to live out our lives for the glory of God rather than the praise of men! Let’s be the dads who see one another as equals! Let’s be the dads who lean in and trust and listen to our Heavenly Father so that we can be the dads that our wives, our kids, and our world need us to be! Let’s be the dads who are pursuing, seeking, and following after the ultimate leader who is Jesus! Let’s be the dads who choose to be servant leaders to our wives, our kids, and our world! Let’s be the dads who walk humbly and allow God to lift us up and exalt us in His timing! Let’s not be caught up in pride and find ourselves being humbled by God because of it! Let’s be the dads who God purposed and created us to be so that we won’t and don’t have to deal with the pain and suffering that comes from living against God’s plan! Let’s be the dads who live humbly and generously for the glory of God! Let’s be the dads who live our lives in the overflow of God’s love, pouring into the lives of our wives, kids, and the world!
Let’s be the dads who are looking for and seeing the needs and pain around us and look for ways to help them through Jesus! Let’s be the dads who are looking for ways that Jesus can work in and through us for His glory to bring healing and restoration to the world around us! Let’s be the dads who are living our lives showing compassion for those who are in distress! Let’s be the dads who are living our lives with repentant hearts to God and to one another! Let’s be the dads who are looking to bring about change that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory by change of heart, change of mind, and change of response! Let’s be the dads who know we aren’t the answer and so not only point others to Jesus as Lord and Savior, but who have received Jesus into our hearts and lives as our Lord and Savior! Let’s be the dads who are turning to God when we mess up and sin! Let’s be the dads who are seeking forgiveness when we mess up and sin! Let’s be the dads who aren’t too proud to be able to let the world see us humbling ourselves before God for our good and His glory in Jesus’ name!
Today’s devotional has been provided by Ryan Ries and The Whosoevers. (www.thewhosoevers.com and http://www.elcentronetwork.com)
Reading through today’s devotional, here are some takeaways for me:
(check out the devotional on your own too to see if you pick up other nuggets, and please share your findings in the comments)
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Takeaways from Today’s Devotional:
“Punk Rock Jesus“
- Let’s be the dads who catch everything Jesus said, did, and commands and choose to live it out!
- Let’s be the dads who live with integrity and honesty!
- Let’s be the dads who speak the truth with love in hopes of turning people and their hearts back to God through Jesus!
- In today’s reading, we see how Jesus confronted the Pharisees for sharing a good message but not living it out!
- Today’s devotional speaks to how Jesus compared the Pharisees to whitewashed tombs and spoke it to them directly!
- Today’s devotional speaks to how Jesus leads by serving and calls us and other leaders to do the same!
- Today’s devotional points to how when Jesus came to town it shook things up because He was calling the Pharisees to account and it didn’t sit well with them. We see how today’s devotional speaks to it this way:
- “Then this traveling preacher came to town with a motley crew of filthy fishermen following behind Him. Rather than showing the respect the religious royalty felt they deserved, the plainclothes Son of God shook them up. He called them “Hypocrites”. He said they were whitewashed tombs – all clean and put together on the outside, but dead and stinking like rot on the inside. He called them blind guides and fools. Just picture that scene. That’s as hard-core as it got back then. Imagine hearing that said to your face. “
- “This was Punk Rock Jesus in action. Thoroughly anti-establishment. Speaking truth, no matter who it upset or what it would eventually cost Him.“
- God doesn’t want us to be in bondage but rather to be able to live our life free!
- God doesn’t want us to just learn about God but to have a relationship with Him through Jesus!
- God wants us to have Jesus as our example rather than man and that we will choose to live our lives in a way that will be good for us and bring glory to our Father in Heaven!
- Let’s be the dads who live with love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness!
- Let’s be the dads who pour out the truth of God’s love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness to the world around us!
- Let’s be the dads who share the truth of God so that others will be attracted to God and be able and ready to receive Jesus into their hearts and lives and be transformed by and through His love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness!
- Today’s devotional speaks to it this way:
- “Jesus came along and said, “Don’t listen to these blind fools. God is full of forgiveness and mercy and grace. He wants a relationship with you, not because you have it all together like these guys supposedly do, but because you don’t. God knows you don’t. He is not looking for the healthy, but for the sick. He wants the people who don’t have it all figured out.” Punk Rock Jesus was the exact opposite of the established party line.“
- Let’s be the dads who are in a relationship with Jesus!
- Let’s be the dads who are walking humbly before God and in humility around this world!
- Today’s devotional speaks to us and looks to help us right where we are at when it says:
- “So, if you’re wondering why Jesus wouldn’t want a relationship with someone as cool as you are, then bring it down a notch. You’re thinking like a Pharisee, and you know what Jesus said about them. But if you’re wondering how God could ever love a sinner like you, then you are exactly the kind of person that He’s looking for. Ask for forgiveness and give your life to Him now. He’s waiting for you. He’s ready to pour His Spirit into your life to give you hope and peace. Follow Him, and you will find purpose and a life that truly matters.“
- “Fully Committed means looking to the Bible for your identity. It means living a life of humility, love, and sacrifice. It’s not about religion. It’s not about becoming a cookie-cutter Christian. It’s not about how you look or what music you listen to or what denomination your church is. It’s about turning your back on what the world tells you to do and what religion tells you to do and living your life by one standard: what the Word of God tells you to do. Read your Bible, study your Bible, learn your Bible. Let the Holy Spirit use God’s perfect book to show you the person that He wants you to be.“
- Let’s be the dads who are fully committed to God and His Word and His will and His way!
- Let’s be the dads who are living in humility, love, and sacrifice for the glory of God!
- Let’s be the dads who aren’t religious but are sharing the relationship we have with Jesus!
- Let’s be the dads who are authentic in how we live out our lives and share how Jesus has impacted and continues to impact our lives!
- Let’s be the dads who choose to live out our lives in alignment with what God says!
- Let’s be the dads who live our lives doing what God’s Word tells us to do!
- Let’s be the dads who value God’s Word so much that we will study it, learn it, and apply it!
- Let’s be the dads who are sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through life!