Friday, September 30, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Our God of Joy

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

The late entertainer Joe E. Brown once said, “I have no understanding of the long‐faced Christian. If God is anything, He must be joy.” How true! We have a God who loves us more than we love our children or even ourselves—a God who sent His Son to die for us and who has prepared a place in eternity just for us. He is indeed a God of joy—and we have much to be joyful about!

This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way. When we were first married, Jim and I taught school, served in the church, and carried many responsibilities. Jim was working on his master’s degree at the time, so he wasn’t able to help me carry my load. I looked forward every week to Saturday, when I could rest and recuperate.

Gradually, I fell into the trap of being truly happy only one day a week. And if anything took that day away from me, I was very frustrated. Slowly, I learned to enjoy every day of the week, even though I was busy. It was a simple change in attitude that brightened my life. Someone once said, “If you have to cross the street to be happy, you’re not seeing things properly.” I agree.

There are many “long‐faced” Christians who are caught up in the trials of this world. It’s not always easy to remember that we can experience joy even in the midst of struggles. We forget that Jesus told us that our worldly grief would be like a mother giving birth: She experiences pain during labor, but then forgets her anguish because of her joy over the birth of her child (John 16:21). We forget that the apostles, after being flogged on orders of the Sanhedrin, left there “rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name” (Acts 5:41).

Joy is something we experience when we begin to understand the magnitude of God and the love He freely gives us. It’s not something to be grasped, but shared. It’s not something to be contained, but made available to all. Joy is a selfless, abundant quality modeled by our Lord Jesus. He is the one who has called us to “rejoice” and “leap for joy” when we are poor, hungry, weeping, hated, and rejected, because “great is your reward in heaven” (Luke 6:23).

Joy can begin right now—if we choose! “Rejoice in the Lord always…!”

- Shirley M Dobson
  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Daily Readings for September 30, 2016

Hosea 10:1-15
Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased the more altars he built; as his country improved, he improved his pillars. Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt. The LORD will break down their altars, and destroy their pillars. For now they will say: "We have no king, for we do not fear the LORD, and a king-- what could he do for us?" They utter mere words; with empty oaths they make covenants; so litigation springs up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field. The inhabitants of Samaria tremble for the calf of Beth-aven. Its people shall mourn for it, and its idolatrous priests shall wail over it, over its glory that has departed from it. The thing itself shall be carried to Assyria as tribute to the great king. Ephraim shall be put to shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his idol. Samaria's king shall perish like a chip on the face of the waters. The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed. Thorn and thistle shall grow up on their altars. They shall say to the mountains, Cover us, and to the hills, Fall on us. Since the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel; there they have continued. Shall not war overtake them in Gibeah? I will come against the wayward people to punish them; and nations shall be gathered against them when they are punished for their double iniquity. Ephraim was a trained heifer that loved to thresh, and I spared her fair neck; but I will make Ephraim break the ground; Judah must plow; Jacob must harrow for himself. Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your power and in the multitude of your warriors, therefore the tumult of war shall rise against your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle when mothers were dashed in pieces with their children. Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel, because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel shall be utterly cut off.

Acts 21:37-22:16
Just as Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, "May I say something to you?" The tribune replied, "Do you know Greek? Then you are not the Egyptian who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?" Paul replied, "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city; I beg you, let me speak to the people." When he had given him permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the people for silence; and when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language, saying: "Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense that I now make before you." When they heard him addressing them in Hebrew, they became even more quiet. Then he said: "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, educated strictly according to our ancestral law, being zealous for God, just as all of you are today. I persecuted this Way up to the point of death by binding both men and women and putting them in prison, as the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify about me. From them I also received letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I went there in order to bind those who were there and to bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment. "While I was on my way and approaching Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' Then he said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.' Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. I asked, 'What am I to do, Lord?' The Lord said to me, 'Get up and go to Damascus; there you will be told everything that has been assigned to you to do.' Since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, those who were with me took my hand and led me to Damascus. "A certain Ananias, who was a devout man according to the law and well spoken of by all the Jews living there, came to me; and standing beside me, he said, 'Brother Saul, regain your sight!' In that very hour I regained my sight and saw him. Then he said, 'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear his own voice; for you will be his witness to all the world of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.'

Luke 6:12-26
Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them. Then he looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. "Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. "But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. "Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. "Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. "Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 102 Domine, exaudi
1   LORD, hear my prayer, and let my cry come before you; hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
2   Incline your ear to me; when I call, make haste to answer me,
3   For my days drift away like smoke, and my bones are hot as burning coals.
4   My heart is smitten like grass and withered, so that I forget to eat my bread.
5   Because of the voice of my groaning I am but skin and bones.
6   I have become like a vulture in the wilderness, like an owl among the ruins.
7   I lie awake and groan; I am like a sparrow, lonely on a house-top.
8   My enemies revile me all day long, and those who scoff at me have taken an oath against me.
9   For I have eaten ashes for bread and mingled my drink with weeping.
10   Because of your indignation and wrath you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
11   My days pass away like a shadow, and I wither like the grass.
12   But you, O LORD, endure for ever, and your Name from age to age.
13   You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to have mercy upon her; indeed, the appointed time has come.
14   For your servants love her very rubble, and are moved to pity even for her dust.
15   The nations shall fear your Name, O LORD, and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16   For the LORD will build up Zion, and his glory will appear.
17   He will look with favor on the prayer of the homeless; he will not despise their plea.
18   Let this be written for a future generation, so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD.
19   For the LORD looked down from his holy place on high; from the heavens he beheld the earth;
20   That he might hear the groan of the captive and set free those condemned to die;
21   That they may declare in Zion the Name of the LORD, and his praise in Jerusalem;
22   When the peoples are gathered together, and the kingdoms also, to serve the LORD.
23   He has brought down my strength before my time; he has shortened the number of my days;
24   And I said, "O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days; your years endure throughout all generations.
25   In the beginning, O LORD, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands;
26   They shall perish, but you will endure; they all shall wear out like a garment; as clothing you will change them, and they shall be changed;
27   But you are always the same, and your years will never end.
28   The children of your servants shall continue, and their offspring shall stand fast in your sight."

Evening Psalms

Psalm 107:1-32 Part I Confitemini Domino
1   Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, and his mercy endures for ever.
2   Let all those whom the LORD has redeemed proclaim that he redeemed them from the hand of the foe.
3   He gathered them out of the lands; from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
4   Some wandered in desert wastes; they found no way to a city where they might dwell.
5   They were hungry and thirsty; their spirits languished within them.
6   Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
7   He put their feet on a straight path to go to a city where they might dwell.
8   Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children.
9   For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
10   Some sat in darkness and deep gloom, bound fast in misery and iron;
11   Because they rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High.
12   So he humbled their spirits with hard labor; they stumbled, and there was none to help.
13   Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
14   He led them out of darkness and deep gloom and broke their bonds asunder.
15   Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children.
16   For he shatters the doors of bronze and breaks in two the iron bars.
17   Some were fools and took to rebellious ways; they were afflicted because of their sins.
18   They abhorred all manner of food and drew near to death's door.
19   Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
20   He sent forth his word and healed them and saved them from the grave.
21   Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children.
22   Let them offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and tell of his acts with shouts of joy.
23   Some went down to the sea in ships and plied their trade in deep waters;
24   They beheld the works of the LORD and his wonders in the deep.
25   Then he spoke, and a stormy wind arose, which tossed high the waves of the sea.
26   They mounted up to the heavens and fell back to the depths; their hearts melted because of their peril.
27   They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits' end.
28   Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
29   He stilled the storm to a whisper and quieted the waves of the sea.
30   Then were they glad because of the calm, and he brought them to the harbor they were bound for.
31   Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children.
32   Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

The Daily Meditation for September 30, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Jonathan Melton

Psalm 107:21-22 (NRSV) Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children. Let them offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and tell of his acts with shouts of joy.

The God who freed Israel from slavery in Egypt and raised Jesus from the dead loves us and delights in our flourishing. We bloom and blossom when we remember this most important love story; we come together and hear again the saving deeds of God in scripture. We thrive and thrill in the love we find in the arms of our family, our parish, and those whom we love deepest. As we are baptized into the life and death of Jesus and live out our baptismal covenant in the breaking of the bread and in holding to the rhythms of corporate and corporeal prayer together, we flourish.

As we seek to serve Christ in our neighbors and, against all odds see his face in their faces, we flourish in forgiving and in being forgiven. Unflagging, we learn generosity and gentleness—we open up space for the fire and surprise of the Spirit each and every day.

For all of this, God gives God’s love. For all of these things, we sing our thanks. We lift our songs of joy to the God whose joy in us—in all of creation—is beyond all we could ask or imagine.

Join more than a half million readers worldwide who use Forward Day by Day as a resource for daily prayer and Bible study.

Men of the Bible - Jesus

His name means: "Yahweh Is Salvation"

His work: Although a member of the Holy Trinity who participated in the creation of the universe, his assignment was to come humbly to earth as a man to serve as Redeemer and Lord.
His character: Fully God, fully man; sinless perfection.
His sorrow: Taking upon himself the sins of every human being to satisfy the wrath of a holy God—the sins of those who lived before his birth, those who lived during his lifetime, and those who were to follow.
His triumph: The completion of his mission as the Savior of the world.
Key Scriptures: The Gospel of John

A Look at the Man

The first day of school, the first day on a new job—these are landmark moments, times to celebrate, to give your best, to set a pattern for the days to follow.

Jesus could have begun his public ministry with a healing service or a deliverance session. He could have gathered twice as many people as John the Baptist had and begun by excoriating the religious leaders for their sins. Instead, he performed a miracle, turning water into wine so that a bride and groom could avoid embarrassment, so that a party could continue.

Didn't Jesus have more important things to attend to? What was he thinking? What about all the hungry people who needed feeding, the blind who needed to see? What about restoring worship in the temple, freeing the demon-possessed, silencing gale-force winds, and walking on water?

Jesus knew the time would come for him to confront the ugliness in people's hearts. He knew about the suffering that lay ahead and the resistance he would face. But right now it was time for a party. True, the bridegroom hadn't been quite ready for the wedding, running out of wine before the celebration was half finished. Jesus wasn't quite ready either.

But three years later, as he hung on a Roman cross dying for our sins, it was a completely different story, because now the Bridegroom was ready. That day Jesus declared his work "finished," for the purpose of his life and ministry was to prepare his people to become his spotless bride.

At Cana he had changed water to expensive wine. On the night before he died, he lifted a cup of wine, saying to his friends: "This is my blood, shed for you." On the cross he turned the costly wine into his own precious blood.

After Jesus' resurrection, the Spirit of God moved on the disciples so powerfully that three thousand people became believers in one day. Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in his followers, was drawing people to himself, changing the course of history, giving us the best news we could ever hear, throwing the greatest party anyone had ever attended.

Reflect On: Matthew 26:36–46
Praise God: For his love.
Offer Thanks: For his Son—the child born of a virgin, the boy who grew in character, the one who lived a sinless life and died to redeem us—the groom who not only loved his bride but gave his life for her.
Confess: The temptation to forget who Jesus really is and to treat his life as only an example of right living rather than to fully embrace his purpose for coming to earth.
Ask God: To fill you with his Spirit, to live as a person who has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, to teach you to pray and to celebrate.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - OVERCOMERS

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)

Christians in areas of persecution have used many metaphors and similes to describe the victory of following Jesus and becoming an overcomer as He was. Here are some examples:

In the former Soviet Union, believers said:

Overcomers are like nails. The harder you hit them, the deeper they go!

In China believers said:

Overcomers are like bamboo. The more you cut them down, the faster and stronger they grow back.

In Iran believers said:

Overcomers are like rubber balls. The harder you throw them down on the floor, the higher they rebound!

Overcomers are like flowers. The more you crush them, the stronger and sweeter the fragrance.

In the Philippines believers said:

Overcomers are like stained-glass cathedral windows at night. Their true beauty is revealed only when there is light from within.

In India believers said:

Overcomers are like tea bags. You have to put them in hot water to know how strong they are!

You can be an overcomer! And you can stand strong through the storm!

RESPONSE: Today I will be an overcomer standing strong through the storm.

PRAYER: Pray that all Christians living under severe persecution will be encouraged and understand what it means to be an overcomer…as well as anticipate the many rewards Jesus promises to overcomers.

Un Dia a la Vez - Hay un mañana

Vivirás tranquilo, porque hay esperanza; estarás protegido y dormirás confiado. (Job 11:18)

Hace un tiempo veía en la televisión un programa que se llamaba «Atrapado en la frustración».

Me llamó mucho la atención que las imágenes que mostraban la representación de ese título fueran de personas atadas, amarradas y desesperadas por ser libres, pero que no podían.

En ese programa presentaban gente de todo tipo que estaba frustrada por el trabajo que tenía,
por las drogas y por muchas otras situaciones.

La vida en la que vivimos está llena de trampas, traiciones y adicciones que van atando a la gente de tal manera que a veces caen sin imaginarlo siquiera.

¿Sabes? Contrario de seguro a lo que piensa mucha gente, yo le daba gracias a Dios por mi libertad, por la felicidad de poder trabajar en lo que me gusta y sentirme absolutamente llena en Jesús.

Hoy quiero invitarte a conocer al Dador de la libertad. Quiero decirte que la voluntad de nuestro Padre no es que tú vivas atrapado y sin salida. Al contrario, Él quiere que seas libre y quiere romper todas esas frustraciones y ataduras en el nombre de Jesús.

Dale la oportunidad a Cristo de transformar tu vida y así poder declarar de todo corazón:

«Soy libre en Jesús».

Girlfriends in God - Blind Ambitions

Today’s Truth

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV).

Friend to Friend

Not too long ago I was sitting in an airport waiting for my delayed flight to board. To pass the time, I was doing something that comes natural to me as a physical therapist—I was analyzing people’s gait (their walking style/posture) as they strolled by. I had just diagnosed a weak left hip muscle in a middle-aged woman when I turned my head to the right to lock my eyes onto my next “patient.” What I found was something quite out of the ordinary. A blind man was walking by, his left arm linked with a sighted man’s right arm. Now, this wasn’t what I found to be curious. What was interesting was that even though the blind man was being led by someone with full sight, he continued to use the walking stick he held in his other hand to methodically sweep the path ahead of him as he walked. Huh. Why was he doing this? Did he not trust his guide to lead him in a clear path or was it done by habit?

While I was considering these two options the Lord leaned into my ear in that moment and said, “This is the way I want you to walk with me, Lisa.” Suddenly I understood. You see, Jesus is the eternally-sighted One. He desires to be my Guide, and in order for this to be accomplished, my arm (life) needs to be linked with His. Once that connection is in place, it becomes my responsibility to navigate the day-to-day jaunts that He has entrusted me to take, all while relying on the mighty support His Arm provides—just as the blind man was doing that day as he made his way through the airport. God does His part, and we must do ours.

Truth be told, I can be blind to the ways of the Lord. There have been times when I’ve un-linked my arm with Christ’s and tried to navigate my life with my own understanding. Sure, I read God’s Word, but then I look forward at the circumstances ahead of me, and I think I’ve got a good handle on things. So, off I go, ambitiously “swinging my stick” side to side while pressing forward. The problem is, at the end of the day, the week, or the month, I’m lost. I’m nowhere near the “gate” the Lord had intended to lead me to.

That day in the airport I recommitted myself to staying linked to the Lord, not simply satisfied with the knowledge that He is near (and therefore prone to “lean on my own understanding”). Looking back, I am grateful for that particular flight delay. It allowed me to see my times of “blind ambition” for what they are: a disconnected, un-Guided pursuit which failed to deliver me to the Lord’s intended outcome.

Let’s Pray

Lord, when I am tempted to run on ahead of you, or even to lag behind you, please remind me that you and I were meant to be linked through your Holy Spirit; to be in step. Today I acknowledge my reliance on you in order for my paths to be made straight—directed towards your will—each and every day.
In the mighty Name of Jesus I pray,

Now It's Your Turn

In what situations are you most prone to “go it alone,” confident in your own understanding? Invite the Lord to take your arm and assist you in navigating through it. Begin by intentionally praying for wisdom, clear direction, and for the Holy Spirit to empower your thoughts, words, and actions.

More from the Girlfriends

Overcoming Back and Neck Pain (Harvest House Publishers) is one of Lisa’s six books in her Restoring Your Temple® health resource collection. Her books are available on,, or wherever books are sold.

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Verse of the Day - September 30, 2016

Philippians 1:9-10 (NIV) And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

Read all of Philippians 1

Our Daily Bread - Bad Faith, Good Faith

Read: Romans 4:18–25 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 9–10; Ephesians 3

[Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. Romans 4:20

“You gotta have faith,” people say. But what does that mean? Is any faith good faith?

“Believe in yourself and all that you are,” wrote one positive thinker a century ago. “Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” As nice as that may sound, it falls to pieces when it crashes into reality. We need a faith in something bigger than ourselves.

God promised Abram he would have a multitude of descendants (Gen. 15:4–5), so he faced a huge obstacle—he was old and childless. When he and Sarah got tired of waiting for God to make good on His promise, they tried to overcome that obstacle on their own. As a result, they fractured their family and created a lot of unnecessary dissension (see Gen. 16 and 21:8–21).

Nothing Abraham did in his own strength worked. But ultimately he became known as a man of tremendous faith. Paul wrote of him, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be’” (Rom. 4:18). This faith, said Paul, “was credited to him as righteousness” (v. 22).

Abraham’s faith was in something far bigger than himself—the one and only God. It’s the object of our faith that makes all the difference.

Lord, I want a strong faith in You, not just faith in myself or my abilities or in others. I am nothing without You.

Our faith is good if it’s in the right Person.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Unser Täglich Brot - Guter Glaube, schlechter Glaube

Lesen: Römer 4,18-25 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Jesaja 9–10; Epheser 3

[Abraham] zweifelte nicht an der Verheißung Gottes durch Unglauben, sondern wurde stark im Glauben und gab Gott die Ehre. (Römer 4,20)

„Du musst nur glauben“, sagen die Leute. Aber was heißt das? Ist jeder Glaube guter Glaube?

„Glaube an dich selbst und alles, was du bist“, schrieb ein positiver Denker vor einem Jahrhundert. „Wisse, dass in dir etwas ist, das größer ist als jedes Hindernis.“ So schön das auch klingen mag, der Realität halten diese Worte nicht stand. Wir brauchen Glauben an etwas, das größer ist als wir selbst.

Gott versprach Abraham, dass seine Nachkommen ungeheuer zahlreich sein würden (1.Mose 15,4-5), obwohl es da noch ein Hindernis gab—Abraham war alt und kinderlos. Als er und Sara nicht mehr länger darauf warten wollten, dass Gott sein Versprechen erfüllte, schritten sie selbst zur Tat. Die Folge war ein Riss durch die Familie und eine Menge unnötiger Streitereien (siehe 1.Mose 16 und 21,8-21).

Nichts von dem, was Abraham in eigener Kraft probierte, ging gut aus. Trotzdem wurde er bekannt als Mann mit einem gewaltigen Glauben. Paulus schreibt von ihm: „Er hat geglaubt auf Hoffnung, wo nichts zu hoffen war, dass er der Vater vieler Völker werde, wie zu ihm gesagt ist: ‚So zahlreich sollen deine Nachkommen sein.‘“ (Röm. 4,18). Dieser Glaube, sagt Paulus, ist ihm „zur Gerechtigkeit gerechnet worden“ (V.22).

Abraham glaubte an etwas, das viel größer war als er selbst—den einen, einzigen Gott. An wen wir glauben, darauf kommt es an!

Herr, ich möchte ganz fest an dich glauben, nicht an mich selbst oder meine Fähigkeiten oder andere Menschen. Ohne dich bin ich nichts.

Unser Glaube ist gut, wenn wir an den Richtigen glauben.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Вера вере рознь

Читать сейчас: Римлянам 4:18-25 | Библия за год: Исаия 9-10; 2 Коринфянам 2

[Авраам] не поколебался в обетовании Божьем неверием, но пребыл тверд в вере, воздав славу Богу. — Римлянам 4:20

«Надо иметь веру», – говорят люди. Но что это значит? Любая ли вера подходит?

«Верьте в себя, – писал один мыслитель сто лет назад. – Знайте, что в вас есть то, что больше всех препятствий». Как бы прелестно это учение ни звучало, оно разбивается вдребезги о суровую действительность. Нам нужна вера в то, что намного больше нас самих.

Бог обещал Авраму, что даст ему множество потомков (Быт. 15:4-5), однако было непреодолимое препятствие: муж веры был стар и бездетен. Не дождавшись исполнения обетования, они с Сарой попытались решить вопрос по-своему. А в результате создали массу огорчений и ненужных трений (см. Быт. 16; 21:8-21).

Ничто из того, что Авраам делал по собственной инициативе, не помогло. Но в Библии он известен как пример настоящей веры. Пройдя через минутные слабости, Он всецело доверился Богу. Павел писал об Аврааме: «Он, сверх надежды, поверил с надеждой, через что сделался отцом многих народов, по сказанному: “Так [многочисленно] будет семя твое”» (Рим. 4:18). Это и «вменилось ему в праведность» (Рим. 4:22).

Авраам верил в Того, Кто был несравнимо больше его, – в единого истинного Бога. Объект нашей веры – вот в чем все дело. —  Тим Густафсон

Господи, я желаю иметь крепкую веру в Тебя, а не в свои силы и способности. Я ничто без Тебя.

Вера хороша, если это вера в истинного Бога.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Mauvaise foi, bonne foi

[Abraham] ne douta point, par incrédulité, au sujet de la promesse de Dieu ; mais il fut fortifié par la foi, donnant gloire à Dieu. (Romains 4:20)

Il faut avoir la foi », disent certaines personnes, mais que veulent‑ils dire par là, au juste ? Est‑ce que toute foi est bonne ?

Il y a un siècle de cela, un certain penseur positif a écrit : « Croyez en vous‑même et en tout ce que vous êtes. Sachez que vous avez en vous quelque chose de supérieur à tout obstacle. » Aussi belle que cette parole puisse sembler, elle vole en éclats lorsqu’elle percute la réalité. Il nous faut, en fait, croire en quelque chose nous étant supérieur.

Dieu a promis à Abram qu’il aurait d’innombrables descendants (GE 15.4,5), et cet homme s’est heurté à un obstacle de taille : il était vieux et toujours sans enfant. Lorsque Saraï et lui se sont lassés d’attendre que Dieu tienne promesse, ils ont tenté de surmonter cet obstacle par eux‑mêmes. Résultat : ils ont causé l’éclatement de leur famille et ont créé une grande discorde inutile (Voir GE 16 ; 21.8‑21).

Or, rien de ce qu’Abraham a fait par ses propres moyens n’a fonctionné. En définitive, il en est toutefois venu à être connu comme un homme à la foi inégalée. Paul a écrit à son sujet : « Espérant contre toute espérance, il [Abraham] crut et devint ainsi le père d’un grand nombre de nations, selon ce qui lui avait été dit : Telle sera ta postérité » (RO 4.18). Or, cette foi, nous dit Paul, « lui fut [imputée] à justice » (V. 22).

Abraham a mis sa foi en quelque chose lui étant de beaucoup supérieur, le seul vrai Dieu. C’est l’objet de notre foi qui change tout. — Tim Gustafson

Notre foi est bonne si nous la mettons dans la bonne Personne.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Watch Out For Traps

Night Light for Couples, the couples' devotional from Focus on the Family ministry founder Dr. James Dobson and his wife, Shirley, brings spouses together each evening, helping them stay connected with each other and their Lord.

“Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

We’ve found that retired couples and stay‐at‐home spouses are especially likely to fall into four traps that can take the joy out of life. Here they are, along with some suggestions for avoiding each trap. First is the trap of isolation. Don’t allow yourself to withdraw within your own four walls. Stay connected to people even when it’s easier to stay home.

The second trap is inactivity. The simple act of taking a walk, visiting the library, or going grocery shopping keeps the muscles limber and the mind alert.

Third is the trap of self-pity. This attitude can cripple or even kill you! To ward it off, reach out to others. Develop a ministry of prayer and hospitality for those around you.

The fourth trap is despair. The elderly, in particular, can slip into thinking that life is over and no longer worth living. Yet the Christian must always be future oriented. The beauty of our faith lies in the assurance of the next world, where true joy awaits us all.

Just between us…
  • Do you ever fall into any of these traps? Which one(s)?
  • What specific things can we do to avoid them?
  • Are you looking forward to the future? Why or why not?
  • How does God use the elderly for His purposes?
  • How could praying and caring for others lead to joy for us?
Father, we are so thankful that we will one day leave life’s troubles behind and enter the joy of eternity with You. In the meantime, help us redeem the time for Your glory, confident that You are ready to work out Your divine purposes in every moment. Amen.
  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Daily Readings for September 29, 2016

Genesis 28:10-17
Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the LORD stood beside him and said, "I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place-- and I did not know it!" And he was afraid, and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."

Psalm 103 Benedic, anima mea
1   Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy Name.
2   Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
3   He forgives all your sins and heals all your infirmities;
4   He redeems your life from the grave and crowns you with mercy and loving-kindness;
5   He satisfies you with good things, and your youth is renewed like an eagle's.
6   The LORD executes righteousness and judgment for all who are oppressed.
7   He made his ways known to Moses and his works to the children of Israel.
8   The LORD is full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and of great kindness.
9   He will not always accuse us, nor will he keep his anger for ever.
10   He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
11   For as the heavens are high above the earth, so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.
12   As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us.
13   As a father cares for his children, so does the LORD care for those who fear him.
14   For he himself knows whereof we are made; he remembers that we are but dust.
15   Our days are like the grass; we flourish like a flower of the field;
16   When the wind goes over it, it is gone, and its place shall know it no more.
17   But the merciful goodness of the LORD endures for ever on those who fear him, and his righteousness on children's children;
18   On those who keep his covenant and remember his commandments and do them.
19   The LORD has set his throne in heaven, and his kingship has dominion over all.
20   Bless the LORD, you angels of his, you mighty ones who do his bidding, and hearken to the voice of his word.
21   Bless the LORD, all you his hosts, you ministers of his who do his will.
22   Bless the LORD, all you works of his, in all places of his dominion; bless the LORD, O my soul.

Revelation 12:7-12
And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world-- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming, "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Messiah, for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not cling to life even in the face of death. Rejoice then, you heavens and those who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you with great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"

John 1:47-51
When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, "Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!" Nathanael asked him, "Where did you get to know me?" Jesus answered, "I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you." Nathanael replied, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" Jesus answered, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these." And he said to him, "Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

The Daily Meditation for September 29, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Jonathan Melton

Psalm 103:1 (NRSV) Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy Name.

The man beside me had become exasperated in his attempts to persuade his friend on the end of the phone. “I give up!” he screamed. “I’ve done all I can.” He slammed the phone shut and panted his exhaustion.

As I processed this stranger’s conversation, I felt compassion for him. He clearly wanted to give his friend a gift. What escaped the man, however, was that the form of his message betrayed the sweetness of its content. More simply, he had stopped living his own faith in an attempt to give faith to another.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul…” The psalmist’s gentle self-prodding reminds us that we are continually living lives of faith. We live them alongside each other, in relationship to each other, sometimes carrying each other, but we never live our lives of faith alone. And when we can find those spaces where our souls truly offer blessings and prayers of thanks for all that we have been given, everything inside of us seems to be saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Join more than a half million readers worldwide who use Forward Day by Day as a resource for daily prayer and Bible study.

Un Dia a la Vez - Días de preparación

Toda la Escritura es inspirada por Dios, y útil para enseñar [...] a fin de que el hombre de Dios sea perfecto, enteramente preparado para toda buena obra. 2 Timoteo 3:16-17, RV-60

Si estás buscando un cambio en tu vida, y en especial le has pedido a Dios que te dé una oportunidad para cambiar, servir y cumplir con un llamado, piensa que Dios escucha con mucha seriedad tus peticiones. Por eso, va a empezar a dirigir tu vida de tal forma que te irá llevando a dejar cosas, a tomar decisiones muy duras para ti, pero que serán necesarias para los planes que tienes. Conozco personas que han hecho pactos con Dios y han dejado sus trabajos seculares que no honraban su nombre y han buscado algo que vaya de acuerdo a su estilo de vida.

¿Sabes lo que pasa a veces? Parecemos muy espirituales y nos dejamos llevar por las emociones. Le decimos al Señor: «Quiero ser misionero, quiero ser pastor y vivir para ti».

«Perfecto», dice Dios. «¿Estás dispuesto a dejarlo todo por mí? ¿Dejarías ese trabajo que te da buen dinero, pero te roba tiempo con tu familia? ¿O estás listo para ser misionero dejando tu familia y viajando a lugares en los que quizá no tengas una cama donde dormir y la comida no sea la más apetitosa?».

El servicio a Dios tiene un precio y sacrificios que enfrentar. Sin embargo, la gran verdad es que si Dios te llama, te capacita y te prepara. Creo que ya te lo dije, pero lo repito ahora: Así como los soldados van a la guerra, pero antes necesitan preparación física y entrenamientos muy fuertes, igual sucede con nosotros. Dios necesita prepararnos para darnos lo que anhelamos.

Girlfriends in God - How Resistance Can Lead to Strength

Today’s Truth

The testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:3)

Friend to Friend

My daughter plays competitive volleyball and recently began a specialized resistance plyometric workout called Vertimax training. The actual Vertimax equipment looks rather unimpressive. It’s a sturdy platform that hosts a complicated series of industrial-sized rubber bands. The results of training with this system, however, are anything but unimpressive. This advanced resistance-training helps to increase vertical jump, strengthen and protect muscles, and accelerate an athlete’s reaction time. Everything a volleyball player wants!

But let me tell you, it is hard work.

Kennedy trains under the careful watch of a guide who knows just how much tension to add and to allow on the platform. And she works through a rapid series of reps to the point of fatigue, and sometimes to failure.

The resistance of the bands increases her strength, but not until her muscles are worn down. After fatigue sets in and the muscles break down, healing begins, and she grows stronger as a result.

Just like in life.

Trials and tension can lead to stress or to strength. Often both! Challenges can tear us down, but they also hold the power to build us up. It’s important for us to realize that we get to choose our responses when resistance wears us thin.

I want to honor God in both good and bad times. Don’t you? I honestly do, but it’s not easy. I tend to get upset about the breakdowns and strains I have to deal with. The Bible shows me, however, that if I didn’t have any resistance I wouldn’t grow.

The beauty of resistance is that can lead to strength. (If we allow it to.)

Remember what James said?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:2-3)

I read these verses and a part of me want to run the other way. But I want to grow. I want to mature in my faith, to trust God more, to persevere and showcase His power in and through the pressure.

So how does this play out practically?

Well, I want my marriage to grow stronger. Always. Because even though we’ve been married a long time, Brad and I are two flawed individuals with strong opinions and crazy-different emotions. Those two variables alone set the table for tension, but there are countless sources of strain beyond our shortcomings. (And all the people said: AMEN!)

We know that marriages, and all relationships, are hard work. So for my marriage to be strong - as far as it’s up to me - I need to press through times of fatigue in order to move toward the strength I long for when Brad and I hit the tension point. I need to look to God, my Guide, who carefully watches me, knows all about the hurt, and helps me through the resistance.

If I want my marriage to be strong, I can’t just be stubborn and do things my way because my ways are flawed and weak. (This applies to all relationships!) The ways of the Lord, however, are perfect and strong. So I look to the Bible to instruct my heart and inform my attitude. She brings him (her husband) good and not evil all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:12) She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26)

When I’m stressed out by my man, or angry with him (people…it happens), I have to pray for God to give me the grace that my heart lacks and the willingness to forgive. Even in the times when I’m convinced that he’s wrong. Even when my feelings are hurt or my ego is bruised. Even when, even when, even when… (And believe me, Brad has plenty of opportunities to do the same with me!)

The Bible assures us, Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

That sounds good to me. I like to know that there is a reward that follows the fatigue.

On the Vertimax platform when the tension bands are removed, an athlete experiences the benefits of the training. Testing brings perseverance. It’s a promise.

What resistance are you facing today? Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:4)

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Forgive me for wanting to find the easy way around the resistance that can be used to strengthen me. Help me to appreciate the value in the strains and struggles I endure. Build my strength today in the fatigue I face and help me to look to You and walk in Your grace.
In Jesus’s Name I pray,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read James 1.

JAMES CHALLENGE: Ready to grow in the strength of God? Read the entire book/letter of James. Do it today or do it this week. However long it takes. Are you in? Click here to let me know by leaving a comment on my blog or on my Facebook page.

More from the Girlfriends

FLASH SALE on Gwen Smith’s newest book, I Want I ALL! TODAY ONLY: order I Want It ALL from our web store and get any of her other books for FREE! (Plus, get a FREE Downloadable “I Want It All” COLORING and JOURNAL book when you sign up to receive her blog!)

Your faith can be strong in spite of your conflicts and fears. You can believe beyond your doubts. I WANT IT ALL gives practical help to connect your struggles to the solutions and strength of God found in the Bible.

Seeking God?
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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 1311
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Standing Strong Through the Storm - I AM NOT AFRAID ANYMORE

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” Acts 18:9-10

Paul was experiencing great pressure and persecution while sharing the gospel in Corinth. With the encouragement of these “red letter” words from Jesus Himself, Paul gained courage to stay in Corinth for another year and a half teaching the word of God.

Known for its rich historical heritage and tourist attractions, Aurangabad is one of the very famous districts of Maharashtra, India. It has been an important place since ancient times because of its location in the famous Silk Route. The route traveled across the width of Asia to Europe. The city is named after the great Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and is one of the fastest growing cities in India. Marathi and Urdu are the main languages spoken in the city.

During the first Standing Strong Through the Storm (SSTS) seminar, the participants expressed profound appreciation, gratitude and the need for more such seminars. So new sets of people were targeted in order to bring awareness and educate them on how to handle persecution when it comes.

The majority of the students confessed that they had never heard of this kind of teaching before. Topics such as addressing religious intolerance were highly appreciated. While the participants were initially apprehensive of sharing their testimonies, they stepped forward after watching the persecution related movies and video clips, and boldly shared what God had done in their lives.

Pratima Pagare attended and commented, “I was always scared to death with the thought that fundamentalists will attack and stone us because we minister to people in the name of Jesus. I am so encouraged to come to this seminar and to hear the testimonies of people who faced persecution in their ministries and still went on. I was also strengthened by the teachings on how to stand strong in the midst of storms and this has driven away all my fears. I thank God and Open Doors for this.”

Priti Alhad said, “I did not know what the content of the seminar would be, but gradually as the sessions went by, I considered myself privileged to be present here and be blessed by the teachings. I am not afraid of persecution but these teachings encouraged me and prepared me for the times of persecution…As I go from here I want to share this knowledge that I have gained here and create awareness among my church members and utilize these teachings in my ministry. I thank your ministry for organizing this seminar in our area.

RESPONSE: Today I will keep on speaking and not be silent trusting the Lord for His protection and blessing.

PRAYER: Help me Lord to lose my fearfulness and trust You when I face those who oppose me.

Verse of the Day - September 29, 2016

John 3:20-21 (NIV) Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Read all of John 3

Our Daily Bread - Within a Stone’s Throw

By Randy Kilgore

Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. ( John 8:7)

As a group of religious leaders herded an adulterous woman toward Jesus, they couldn’t know they were carrying her within a stone’s throw of grace. Their hope was to discredit Him. If He told them to let the woman go, they could claim He was breaking Mosaic law. But if He condemned her to death, the crowds following Him would have dismissed His words of mercy and grace.

But Jesus turned the tables on the accusers. Scripture says that rather than answering them directly, He started writing on the ground. When the leaders continued to question Him, He invited any of them who had never sinned to throw the first stone, and then He started writing on the ground again. The next time He looked up, all the accusers were gone.

Now the only person who could have thrown a stone—the only sinless one—looked at the woman and gave her mercy. “ ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin’ ” (John 8:11).

Whether today finds you needing forgiveness for judging others or desiring assurance that no sin is beyond His grace, be encouraged by this: No one is throwing stones today; go and be changed by God’s mercy.

Father, cleanse me of my judging nature and free me from the bonds of sin. Let me taste Your mercy and then help me to live a changed life.

Tell us your story of how the Lord has shown grace to you at

We serve a Savior who is eager to forgive.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries