Thursday, September 15, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Best Friends

The challenge of sustaining an intimate, faith-based marriage in today's “hurry-up” society has never been greater. 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. Stories that strike an emotional chord, Scripture readings, provocative questions, prayers, and personal commentary from the Dobsons encourage men and women in their homes and spiritual lives. More than just another devotional, Night Light is a practical, uplifting guide for every couple who longs to experience the joyous, intimate, “three-person” marriage covenant God intended.

“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17

There is a limit to the openness we have described. It can be used to create insecurity and gain power over your spouse. I (jcd) know of a handsome young company president who told his wife every day about the single women at the office who flirted with him. His candor was admirable, but by not also stressing his commitment to his wife, he was saying (consciously or not): “You’d better treat me right because there are plenty of women out there just waiting to get their hands on me.” His wife began to fret about how she would hang onto her husband.

He should have reflected on his real motives for alarming his wife. Did this kind of sharing nurture or injure his friendship with her? And she could have helped redirect the conversations by pointing out to her husband—in a calm, nonthreatening manner—how his words made her feel.

If you reveal your inner feelings honestly, with pure motives, and continually reaffirm your commitment to your marriage, your spouse will become your most treasured confidante, protector, adviser, and friend. After forty years of marriage, I can happily report that Shirley and I are best, intimate friends—in no small part because we’ve earned each other’s trust.

Just between us…
  • Have you shown me the “real” you?
  • How should we respond when our partner shares a weakness?
  • How can I be a better friend?
Father, thank You so much that my spouse and I are lifetime partners. But we want to always be best and dearest friends, too. Bless us with Your wisdom, grace, and power to this end, we pray. 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 15, 2016

Job 28:1-28
"Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold to be refined. Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from ore. Miners put an end to darkness, and search out to the farthest bound the ore in gloom and deep darkness. They open shafts in a valley away from human habitation; they are forgotten by travelers, they sway suspended, remote from people. As for the earth, out of it comes bread; but underneath it is turned up as by fire. Its stones are the place of sapphires, and its dust contains gold. "That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon's eye has not seen it. The proud wild animals have not trodden it; the lion has not passed over it. "They put their hand to the flinty rock, and overturn mountains by the roots. They cut out channels in the rocks, and their eyes see every precious thing. The sources of the rivers they probe; hidden things they bring to light. "But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Mortals do not know the way to it, and it is not found in the land of the living. The deep says, 'It is not in me,' and the sea says, 'It is not with me.' It cannot be gotten for gold, and silver cannot be weighed out as its price. It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire. Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls. The chrysolite of Ethiopia cannot compare with it, nor can it be valued in pure gold. "Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the air. Abaddon and Death say, 'We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.' "God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens. When he gave to the wind its weight, and apportioned out the waters by measure; when he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the thunderbolt; then he saw it and declared it; he established it, and searched it out. And he said to humankind, 'Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'"

Acts 16:25-40
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them outside and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God. When morning came, the magistrates sent the police, saying, "Let those men go." And the jailer reported the message to Paul, saying, "The magistrates sent word to let you go; therefore come out now and go in peace." But Paul replied, "They have beaten us in public, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they going to discharge us in secret? Certainly not! Let them come and take us out themselves." The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens; so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. After leaving the prison they went to Lydia's home; and when they had seen and encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed.

John 12:27-36
"Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say-- 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light." After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 70 Deus, in adjutorium
1   Be pleased, O God, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me.
2   Let those who seek my life be ashamed and altogether dismayed; let those who take pleasure in my misfortune draw back and be disgraced.
3   Let those who say to me "Aha!" and gloat over me turn back, because they are ashamed.
4   Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation say for ever, "Great is the LORD!"
5   But as for me, I am poor and needy; come to me speedily, O God.
6   You are my helper and my deliverer; O LORD, do not tarry.

Psalm 71
In te, Domine, speravi
1   In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be ashamed.
2   In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free; incline your ear to me and save me.
3   Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe; you are my crag and my stronghold.
4   Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
5   For you are my hope, O LORD God, my confidence since I was young.
6   I have been sustained by you ever since I was born; from my mother's womb you have been my strength; my praise shall be always of you.
7   I have become a portent to many; but you are my refuge and my strength.
8   Let my mouth be full of your praise and your glory all the day long.
9   Do not cast me off in my old age; forsake me not when my strength fails.
10   For my enemies are talking against me, and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together.
11   They say, "God has forsaken him; go after him and seize him; because there is none who will save."
12   O God, be not far from me; come quickly to help me, O my God.
13   Let those who set themselves against me be put to shame and be disgraced; let those who seek to do me evil be covered with scorn and reproach.
14   But I shall always wait in patience, and shall praise you more and more.
15   My mouth shall recount your mighty acts and saving deeds all day long; though I cannot know the number of them.
16   I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord GOD; I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
17   O God, you have taught me since I was young, and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
18   And now that I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me, till I make known your strength to this generation and your power to all who are to come.
19   Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens; you have done great things; who is like you, O God?
20   You have showed me great troubles and adversities, but you will restore my life and bring me up again from the deep places of the earth.
21   You strengthen me more and more; you enfold and comfort me,
22   Therefore I will praise you upon the lyre for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing to you with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.
23   My lips will sing with joy when I play to you, and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
24   My tongue will proclaim your righteousness all day long, for they are ashamed and disgraced who sought to do me harm.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 74 Ut quid, Deus?
1   O God, why have you utterly cast us off? why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?
2   Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago, the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance, and Mount Zion where you dwell.
3   Turn your steps toward the endless ruins; the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
4   Your adversaries roared in your holy place; they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
5   They were like men coming up with axes to a grove of trees; they broke down all your carved work with hatchets and hammers.
6   They set fire to your holy place; they defiled the dwelling-place of your Name and razed it to the ground.
7   They said to themselves, "Let us destroy them altogether." They burned down all the meeting-places of God in the land.
8   There are no signs for us to see; there is no prophet left; there is not one among us who knows how long.
9   How long, O God, will the adversary scoff? will the enemy blaspheme your Name for ever?
10   Why do you draw back your hand? why is your right hand hidden in your bosom?
11   Yet God is my King from ancient times, victorious in the midst of the earth.
12   You divided the sea by your might and shattered the heads of the dragons upon the waters;
13   You crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave him to the people of the desert for food.
14   You split open spring and torrent; you dried up ever-flowing rivers.
15   Yours is the day, yours also the night; you established the moon and the sun.
16   You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.
17   Remember, O LORD, how the enemy scoffed, how a foolish people despised your Name.
18   Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; never forget the lives of your poor.
19   Look upon your covenant; the dark places of the earth are haunts of violence.
20   Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed; let the poor and needy praise your Name.
21   Arise, O God, maintain your cause; remember how fools revile you all day long.
22   Forget not the clamor of your adversaries, the unending tumult of those who rise up against you.

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 Forward Day by Day Meditation for September 15, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Jonathan Melton

Acts 16:25 (NRSV) About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Midnight is upon Paul and Silas, and things aren’t looking good. But they have an unconventional response to being in prison: These men sing.

We might imagine that it is easier to sing when things are going well. However, the profound power of song is revealed in Paul and Silas’s decision to sing when things are at a particularly difficult and frightening point. Indeed, their singing surprises fellow prisoners. Paul and Silas sing a surprising song in a hopeless place.

Many people throughout history, and especially the history of the Church, have discovered the deeply personal and comforting aspects of hymns and favorite sacred songs. They take up residence inside us, collecting us, calling us back to the truest things about God. I find my own life most faith-filled when I have the honesty and courage to sing along with the rhythm of my day—happy or sad, simple or full of words.

What are your songs? What is God’s song in your heart? Are you singing it? What’s stopping you?

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

His Princess Every Day - Deception

Inspirational author and speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd imagines what a letter written from God to you would look like.

My Daughter,

The world you live in is full of lies to cause you confusion about your faith. Deception is the weapon sent by Satan to deceive on all of my daughters. This trap was set on my first daughter Eve and she fell for it. Deception is dangerous and I want to protect you my daughter from a life filled with pain from poor choices. However, without my word hidden in your heart, you will not have the wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong or truth and lies. Carve my truth into your character and it will become to be your guard, your guide and your gauge to keep you from falling away from me!

Your King, Your Wisdom

For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. - Proverbs 2:6-8 (NIV)

This devotional is written by Sheri Rose Shepherd. All content copyright Sheri Rose Shepherd 2015. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Visit for devotionals, books, videos, and more from Sheri Rose Shepherd.

Girlfriends in God - Which One Are You?

Today’s Truth

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (Matthew 7:24)

Friend to Friend

The words of Jesus pack a punch. His is a powerful and vibrant dialog that brings both tradition and the Law into a new and living light.

On a hillside, long ago, Jesus engaged individuals toward choosing God’s best on a heart level, not just a do-this-to-make-God-happy, knowledge and rules level. Recorded in the book of Matthew, Jesus gave the crowd, and us, some incredible insights to the way His followers should live. We call this the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5-7)

Remember that collection of Jesus teachings? Here’s a rapid review:

He taught the “beatitudes” (Matthew 5:2-12), and told His followers to be “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-16).

He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them,” and warned the people that unless their righteousness exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees, they/we would never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20)

He taught on anger, lust, divorce, and oaths… very prickly subjects! And on retaliation, loving our enemies, and giving to the needy. (Check please!) (Matthew 5:27-6:4)

Jesus taught us how to pray (Matthew 6:5-15), gave instructions on fasting, and told us that we are to love and serve God above all earthly treasures. (Matthew 6:16-24)

He told us not to worry, (wait, what!?) and directed us to seek God and His righteousness first in everything because He KNOWS OUR NEEDS and takes care of His own. (Matthew 6:25-34)

He talked about judging others. About logs, and specks, and hypocrisy. (Easy stuff, right?) (Matthew 7:1-6)

Jesus said that we should ask, seek, and knock. That we should go to God when we have a need because He’s a good, good, loving Father. (It’s who He is!) (Matthew 7:7-11) Also that we should treat others as we want to be treated, beware of false prophets that can be recognized by their fruits, and that we must KNOW Jesus personally - not OF Him - to enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 7:15-23)

And after He finished unpacking all of these behaviors and perspectives that counter-culturally represent the kingdom of God, He pressed in with a wise-person/foolish-person analogy by concluding with this:

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)

Bam. Do the thing.

I read this and am freshly reminded: all this stuff Jesus told you and me about how to behave and how to believe? If we do it, if we will put these things into practice, then we build our lives on a wise foundation. If, however, we don’t do these things, then we are foolish.

Where are you in this? Rock or sand? Wise or foolish? Do you or don’t you?

It’s not hard to understand what Jesus meant here. It is hard to put it all into practice.

And can’t be done without His help.

If I don’t choose to live responsively to His teachings, then I am, by default, choosing to live as a fool.

So when I know that Jesus says I shouldn’t point out the speck in someone else’s eye before taking the log out of mine - and I do it anyway - I live as a fool.

And when I choose to let worry and anxiety take up huge lots of real estate in my heart instead of trusting God and allowing His peace to comfort me - I live as a fool.

Jesus talked straight about this. When His followers hear His words (this means we need to read the Bible and know what His words are!) and put them into practice we will not only live as wise people, but that wisdom becomes our firm foundation. A foundation that protects and provides for us when the winds of life blow hard and when the rains of life fall.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank You for the gracious way you instruct me toward life, wisdom, and a solid foundation. Please me far from foolishness, and help me to live out Your ways in my workplace, with my family, and in my community.
In Jesus’s Name I pray,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Matthew 5-7 and consider where you are with the teachings of Jesus. Take note of areas that He might be calling you to change. Ask Him to give you the grace, strength, and wisdom to live out those changes.

Click here to write a prayer of response as a comment on my blog, or tell me which verse(s) spoke most to you today and why. Then join the community conversation as you encourage and pray for other GiGs who post a response. {Can’t wait to hear from you and pray with you!}

More from the Girlfriends

Gwen Smith is a speaker, worship leader, songwriter, and author of the new book, I Want I ALL, who wants to help you think big thoughts about God – and inspire you toward His grace and truth. Her website is filled with videos, posts, songs and resources that will be a deep well of encouragement to you. Click here to visit her site. (Get a FREE Downloadable “I Want It All” COLORING and JOURNAL book when you sign up to receive her blog!)

Connect with Gwen on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Seeking God? Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 1311
Huntersville, NC 28070

NIV Devotions for Men - On Track

1 Chronicles 23:24–32

Recommended Reading: Psalm 95:1–11; Matthew 6:5–15; Colossians 4:2–4

What if every driver decided to ignore the center yellow lines? Smash-ups would rival apocalyptic visions. Those colored splotches in the roadway keep us on track. They keep us safe.

In our spiritual journey, praise and thanksgiving are like a yellow line, keeping our hearts on track. But it doesn’t take much to veer off course, does it? Think about the Levites. They were set apart to offer thanks and praise to God every morning and every night, day in and day out, in a never-ending cycle (see 1 Chronicles 23:30). It was their job. Forced “thank yous.” Praise, praise, praise.

Imagine the temptations inherent in this routine. Did easy-to-repeat prayers take the place of petitions motivated by full hearts and genuine gratitude? Did their minds wander as the words bubbled out? “Hear me, O God. Here we go again.”

We’ve all heard of the doctor who’s in terrible physical condition or the plumber whose house has leaky pipes. When you do something for a living, as these people do, it’s sometimes hard to stay motivated to keep your own life in order. This is what it may have been like for the Levites as well.

Praise and thanks are key ingredients in a healthy relationship with God. We need them as much as we need fresh air. Praise isn’t just an outward gesture; it reveals what’s inside us—the attitude we have toward God. When we offer meaningful thanks, we acknowledge that God’s goodness deserves our recognition and awe. Every gift comes from his hand. Nothing we’ve done grants us the sun’s bright rising or peaceful slumber at night—it all comes from God’s good hand.

How do we make our delight in God genuine and true every day? Unlike the Levites, God doesn’t demand that we follow certain daily requirements. Maybe that makes the routine more difficult. We are responsible for taking the time to bow before him and offer our praise and thanks.

When we skip this routine, we become like those drivers who disregard the center line—a potential accident waiting to happen. But when we take the time to regularly focus on and praise the God who loves us, he helps us to stay on track.

To Take Away
  • Spiritually, would you describe yourself as “on track” or as “an accident waiting to happen”? Why?
  • Why does God want you to praise him?
  • List several things in your life for which you can praise and thank God. How can you keep your prayers of praise and thanksgiving fresh?

Daily Devotional by John Piper - The Only Enduring Happiness

“So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:22)
“No one will take your joy from you” because your joy comes from being with Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus means that you will never die; you will never be cut off from him.

You see, two things have to be true if your joy is never to be taken from you. One is that the source of your joy lasts forever and the other is that you last forever. If either you or the source of your joy is mortal, your joy will be taken from you.

And, O, how many people have settled for just that! Eat, drink, and be merry they say, for tomorrow we die, and that’s that. Food doesn’t last forever, and I don’t last forever. So let’s make the most of it while we can. What a tragedy!

If you are tempted to think that way right now, please consider as seriously as you possibly can that if your joy were in being with Jesus, “No one would take your joy from you”—not in this life, nor in the life to come.

Not life or death, or angels or principalities, or things present or things to come, or powers or height or depth, or anything else in all creation will be able to take our joy from us in Jesus Christ.

Joy in being with Jesus is an unbroken line from now to eternity. It will not be cut off by his death or ours.

Un Dia a la Vez - Recibe a Jesús en tu corazón

Todo el que invoque el nombre del Señor será salvo. Romanos 10:13

Hace quince años me hicieron esta pregunta: «¿Quieres recibir a Jesús en tu corazón?». Siempre llevo en mi corazón el agradecimiento por esa persona que fue el instrumento que Dios usó para que llegara a sus caminos. Fue paciente, nunca juzgó mi vida, ni mi condición. Por el contrario, fue sabio al llevarme a la iglesia junto con mis princesas. ¡Gracias, Juancho!

Sé que muchos de ustedes ya hicieron esa decisión, pero les pido que en este momento oren dondequiera que estén por las personas que hoy por primera vez están a punto de contestar esta importante pregunta.

Es posible que hayas entendido el sacrificio de amor que hizo Dios por la humanidad al entregar a su único Hijo Jesús para que muriera por nuestros pecados en una muerte de cruz. Tal vez hayas entendido que Dios te ofrece el perdón de tus pecados si le reconoces como tu Salvador. Sin embargo, el Manual de Instrucciones dice que nadie llega al Padre sino es por medio de su Hijo Jesucristo y que para salvación debe haber confesión. Déjame decirte que esto no es cambiar de religión, sino comenzar una relación personal con Él.

Si quieres recibir a Jesús en este día, solo tienes que leer en voz alta esta oración: «Señor Jesús, me presento delante de ti porque reconozco que soy pecador. Te pido, mi Dios, que perdones mis pecados. Hoy abro mi corazón y te recibo como el único y verdadero Salvador de mi vida. Entra en mi corazón. Transforma mi vida. Perdóname, Señor, y escribe mi nombre en el Libro de la Vida. En el nombre de Jesús, amén y amén».

Our Daily Bread - Helping Each Other

By Philip Yancey

[God] comforts us . . . so that we can comfort those in any trouble. 2 Corinthians 1:4

“The body of Christ” is a mysterious phrase used more than 30 times in the New Testament. The apostle Paul especially settled on that phrase as an image of the church. After Jesus ascended to heaven, He turned over His mission to flawed and bumbling men and women. He assumed the role of head of the church, leaving the tasks of arms, legs, ears, eyes, and voice to the erratic disciples—and to you and me.

Jesus’s decision to operate as the invisible head of a large body with many parts means that He often relies on us to help one another cope during times of suffering. The apostle Paul must have had something like that in mind when he wrote these words: “[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ” (2 Cor. 1:4–5). And all through his ministry Paul put that principle into practice, taking up collections for famine victims, dispatching assistants to go to troubled areas, acknowledging believers’ gifts as gifts from God Himself.

The phrase “the body of Christ” expresses well what we are called to do: to represent in flesh what Christ is like, especially to those in need.

Dear Lord, thank You for always being faithful to comfort me when I’m hurting. Show me who needs my encouragement today.

God’s presence brings us comfort; our presence brings others comfort.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - La ayuda mutua

Por Philip Yancey

[Dios] nos consuela […] para que podamos también nosotros consolar… (2 Corintios 1:4).

«El cuerpo de Cristo» se utiliza más de 30 veces en el Nuevo Testamento. Pablo usa esta frase como una imagen de la Iglesia. Tras ascender al cielo, Jesús dejó su misión en manos de hombres y mujeres imperfectos e ineptos. Él asumió el papel de Cabeza de la Iglesia, y dejó las tareas de brazos, piernas, orejas, ojos y voz a discípulos erráticos… a ti y a mí.

Su decisión de funcionar como la Cabeza invisible de un cuerpo grande con muchas partes significa que confía en que nos ayudemos unos a otros en tiempos de sufrimiento. Pablo quizá tuvo esto en mente cuando escribió: «[Dios] nos consuela en todas nuestras tribulaciones, para que podamos también nosotros consolar a los que están en cualquier tribulación, por medio de la consolación con que nosotros somos consolados por Dios» (2 Corintios 1:4-5). En todo su ministerio, Pablo practicó esto, haciendo colectas para las víctimas del hambre, enviando ayudantes a lugares con necesidades y reconociendo las ofrendas de los creyentes como regalos de Dios mismo.

La frase «el cuerpo de Cristo» expresa bien lo que estamos llamados a hacer: representar en carne lo que Cristo es; especialmente, a los necesitados.

Señor, gracias por tu fidelidad al consolarme cuando estoy sufriendo. Muéstrame a alguien que necesite de mi aliento hoy.

La presencia de Dios nos reconforta; y nuestra presencia consuela a otros.

© 2016 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Standing Strong Through the Storm - LOVE’S SACRIFICE

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Jesus says the ultimate test of true love is the willingness to die for others—especially your friends. Of course, He personally demonstrated this Himself in giving His life on the cross for you and me. And today He continues to call those who follow Him to make this sacrifice as well. This classic war zone missionary story illustrates the point:

The mortar rounds landed in an orphanage run by missionaries. The missionaries and one or two children were killed outright and several more children were wounded including one girl about eight years old.

The medical staff who arrived to help soon realized that the young girl was the most critically injured. Without quick action she would die from shock and loss of blood.

When explained to the other children that a blood transfusion was imperative, the request for a blood donor met with wide-eyed silence.

Then one small hand went up and a young boy volunteered. He was quickly laid on a pallet, his arm swabbed with alcohol, and the needle inserted into his vein.

Through the ordeal, he lay stiff and silent but continued to sob later turning into steady, silent crying. The medical team kept asking if it was hurting but he would shake his head and continue to cry.

After a while the boy stopped crying, opened his eyes and looked questioningly at the nurse who took the needle out of his arm. When she nodded, a look of great relief spread over his face.

The boy had all along thought he was dying. He misunderstood, thinking that he was to give ALL his blood so the other little girl could live. And she was his friend.

RESPONSE: Jesus calls me today to show sacrificial love—especially for those I consider friends.

PRAYER: Pray that this depth of love will become a reality in the church of Jesus Christ and in your life.

Verse of the Day - September 15, 2016

1 John 4:16 (NIV) And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

Read all of 1 John 4

Хлеб наш насущный - Помощь

автор: Филип Янси

[Бог утешает] ...нас во всякой скорби нашей, чтобы и мы могли утешать находящихся во всякой скорби... — 2 Коринфянам 1:4

«Тело Христово» – это таинственное словосочетание употребляется в Новом Завете более тридцати раз. Апостол Павел не раз обращается к нему, объясняя сущность церкви. После вознесения на небеса Христос направил усилия на спасение погибающих грешников. Он взял на Себя роль головы, а мы, его ученики, – руки, ноги, глаза, уши и голос.

Решение Господа действовать в качестве невидимой главы большого тела со многими членами означает, что Он часто полагается на нас в деле взаимной помощи в трудные времена. Апостол Павел, должно быть, думал об этом, когда писал: «Благословен Бог... утешающий нас во всякой скорби нашей, чтобы и мы могли утешать находящихся во всякой скорби тем утешением, которым Бог утешает нас самих!» (2 Кор. 1:4-5). В течение всего времени своего служения Павел воплощал этот принцип в жизнь, собирая средства для пострадавших от голода, направляя своих сотрудников на помощь нуждающимся и принимая пожертвования от христиан как дары от Самого Бога.

Выражение «Тело Христово» отражает то, к чему мы призваны: представлять людям Спасителя, особенно тем, кто терпит нужду.

Дорогой Господь, благодарю Тебя за верность и утешение, которое Ты всегда посылал мне в переживаниях. Покажи, кому я могу послужить ободрением.

Божье присутствие несет утешение нам; наше присутствие несет утешение другим.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - S’entraider

par Philip Yancey 

[Dieu] nous console […] afin que […] nous puissions consoler ceux qui se trouvent dans l’affliction ! 2 Corinthiens 1:4

Le corps de Christ » est une expression mystérieuse employée plus de trente fois dans le Nouveau Testament. L’apôtre Paul s’est particulièrement attaché à cette expression à titre d’image représentant l’Église. Après son ascension au ciel, Jésus a confié sa mission à des hommes et à des femmes imparfaits et maladroits. Il a assumé son rôle à la tête de l’Église, déléguant celui des bras, des jambes, des oreilles, des yeux et de la voix à ses disciples inconstants – ainsi qu’à vous et moi.

La décision qu’a prise Jésus de servir de tête invisible à un immense corps aux multiples membres indique qu’il compte souvent sur nous pour que nous nous entraidions en périodes difficiles. L’apôtre Paul a dû entretenir à peu près la même pensée en écrivant : « [Dieu] nous console […] afin que […] nous puissions consoler ceux qui se trouvent dans l’affliction ! Car, de même que les souffrances de Christ abondent en nous, de même notre consolation abonde par Christ » (2 CO 1.4,5). Et tout au long de son ministère, Paul a mis ce principe en pratique en faisant une collecte pour les victimes de la famine, en envoyant des gens apporter leur aide dans des régions éprouvées, en reconnaissant que les dons des croyants proviennent directement de Dieu.

L’expression « le corps de Christ » décrit bien ce que nous sommes appelés à faire : incarner la ressemblance avec Christ, surtout auprès des gens dans le besoin.

La présence de Dieu nous console ; la nôtre console les autres.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ