Friday, September 16, 2016

Night Light for Couples - The House That Trust Built

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.

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you.” Proverbs 3:3

We’ve been talking this week about building trust—one of the essential components of a successful marriage. It’s a bit like constructing a small house out of dominos. As you carefully lay them in place, each succeeding level depends on the previous one. The placement of each domino matters. If one is placed at an angle, the entire project will eventually come crashing down.

So it is with trust. Every aspect of marriage is connected. As we seek and follow God’s will for our lives, we behave in ways that earn trust from our husband or wife. As that trust grows, our mate becomes more open and vulnerable to us. As we share more of ourselves with each other, we achieve greater intimacy, which makes us more accountable to our partners and provides a better setting for encouraging each other in our spiritual lives.

One night in college I decided to tell Jim about my painful past— that my father was an abusive alcoholic. We had gone together for about a year before I revealed this secret. I didn’t know how Jim would react or if I could trust him with it. Actually, I was afraid the revelation might end our relationship. But as I talked, Jim put his arms around me and listened for a long time. When I was through, he told me that he had a new appreciation for me and for the strength I needed to live through such trying circumstances. Instead of driving us apart, my openness brought us closer together.

Clearly, you have to be very careful when choosing to share your intimate secrets. Some people will reject or hurt you or betray your confidence with others. However, one of the wonderful characteristics of love is that in a mature relationship, sharing leads to even greater trust. I hope that our conversations this week have already led you to a deeper experience of trust and confidence in each other.

- 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 16, 2016

Esther 1:1-4, 1:10-19
This happened in the days of Ahasuerus, the same Ahasuerus who ruled over one hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia. In those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his officials and ministers. The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were present, while he displayed the great wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and pomp of his majesty for many days, one hundred eighty days in all. On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who attended him, to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing the royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the officials her beauty; for she was fair to behold. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command conveyed by the eunuchs. At this the king was enraged, and his anger burned within him. Then the king consulted the sages who knew the laws (for this was the king's procedure toward all who were versed in law and custom, and those next to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven officials of Persia and Media, who had access to the king, and sat first in the kingdom): "According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus conveyed by the eunuchs?" Then Memucan said in the presence of the king and the officials, "Not only has Queen Vashti done wrong to the king, but also to all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. For this deed of the queen will be made known to all women, causing them to look with contempt on their husbands, since they will say, 'King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.' This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen's behavior will rebel against the king's officials, and there will be no end of contempt and wrath! If it pleases the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be altered, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.

Acts 17:1-15
After Paul and Silas had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, "This is the Messiah, Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you." Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews became jealous, and with the help of some ruffians in the marketplaces they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar. While they were searching for Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly, they attacked Jason's house. When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities, shouting, "These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has entertained them as guests. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus." The people and the city officials were disturbed when they heard this, and after they had taken bail from Jason and the others, they let them go. That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas off to Beroea; and when they arrived, they went to the Jewish synagogue. These Jews were more receptive than those in Thessalonica, for they welcomed the message very eagerly and examined the scriptures every day to see whether these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, including not a few Greek women and men of high standing. But when the Jews of Thessalonica learned that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Beroea as well, they came there too, to stir up and incite the crowds. Then the believers immediately sent Paul away to the coast, but Silas and Timothy remained behind. Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and after receiving instructions to have Silas and Timothy join him as soon as possible, they left him.

John 12:36-43
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. Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him. This was to fulfill the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah: "Lord, who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" And so they could not believe, because Isaiah also said, "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they might not look with their eyes, and understand with their heart and turn-- and I would heal them." Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke about him. Nevertheless many, even of the authorities, believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human glory more than the glory that comes from God.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 69 Salvum me fac
1   Save me, O God, for the waters have risen up to my neck.
2   I am sinking in deep mire, and there is no firm ground for my feet.
3   I have come into deep waters, and the torrent washes over me.
4   I have grown weary with my crying; my throat is inflamed; my eyes have failed from looking for my God.
5   Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty. Must I then give back what I never stole?
6   O God, you know my foolishness, and my faults are not hidden from you.
7   Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me, O God of Israel.
8   Surely, for your sake have I suffered reproach, and shame has covered my face.
9   I have become a stranger to my own kindred, an alien to my mother's children.
10   Zeal for your house has eaten me up; the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
11   I humbled myself with fasting, but that was turned to my reproach.
12   I put on sack-cloth also, and became a byword among them.
13   Those who sit at the gate murmur against me, and the drunkards make songs about me.
14   But as for me, this is my prayer to you, at the time you have set, O LORD:
15   In your great mercy, O God, answer me with your unfailing help.
16   Save me from the mire; do not let me sink; let me be rescued from those who hate me and out of the deep waters.
17   Let not the torrent of waters wash over me, neither let the deep swallow me up; do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
18   Answer me, O LORD, for your love is kind; in your great compassion, turn to me."
19   Hide not your face from your servant; be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.
20   Draw near to me and redeem me; because of my enemies deliver me.
21   You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; my adversaries are all in your sight."
22   Reproach has broken my heart, and it cannot be healed; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I could find no one.
23   They gave me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
24   Let the table before them be a trap and their sacred feasts a snare.
25   Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and give them continual trembling in their loins.
26   Pour out your indignation upon them, and let the fierceness of your anger overtake them.
27   Let their camp be desolate, and let there be none to dwell in their tents.
28   For they persecute him whom you have stricken and add to the pain of those whom you have pierced.
29   Lay to their charge guilt upon guilt, and let them not receive your vindication.
30   Let them be wiped out of the book of the living and not be written among the righteous.
31   As for me, I am afflicted and in pain; your help, O God, will lift me up on high.
32   I will praise the Name of God in song; I will proclaim his greatness with thanksgiving.
33   This will please the LORD more than an offering of oxen, more than bullocks with horns and hoofs.
34   The afflicted shall see and be glad; you who seek God, your heart shall live.
35   For the LORD listens to the needy, and his prisoners he does not despise.
36   Let the heavens and the earth praise him, the seas and all that moves in them;
37   For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; they shall live there and have it in possession.
38   The children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his Name will dwell therein.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 73 Quam bonus Israel!
1   Truly, God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2   But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped; I had almost tripped and fallen;
3   Because I envied the proud and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
4   For they suffer no pain, and their bodies are sleek and sound;
5   In the misfortunes of others they have no share; they are not afflicted as others are;
6   Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
7   Their iniquity comes from gross minds, and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
8   They scoff and speak maliciously; out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
9   They set their mouths against the heavens, and their evil speech runs through the world.
10   And so the people turn to them and find in them no fault.
11   They say, "How should God know? is there knowledge in the Most High?"
12   So then, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase their wealth.
13   In vain have I kept my heart clean, and washed my hands in innocence.
14   I have been afflicted all day long, and punished every morning.
15   Had I gone on speaking this way, I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
16   When I tried to understand these things, it was too hard for me;
17   Until I entered the sanctuary of God and discerned the end of the wicked.
18   Surely, you set them in slippery places; you cast them down in ruin.
19   Oh, how suddenly do they come to destruction, come to an end, and perish from terror!
20   Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord, when you arise you will make their image vanish.
21   When my mind became embittered, I was sorely wounded in my heart.
22   I was stupid and had no understanding; I was like a brute beast in your presence.
23   Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24   You will guide me by your counsel, and afterwards receive me with glory.
25   Whom have I in heaven but you? and having you I desire nothing upon earth.
26   Though my flesh and my heart should waste away, God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
27   Truly, those who forsake you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful.
28   But it is good for me to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge.
29   I will speak of all your works in the gates of the city of Zion.

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 16, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Jonathan Melton

John 12:42-43 (NRSV) Nevertheless many, even of the authorities, believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human glory more than the glory that comes from God.

We have all experienced times when we’re waiting for someone to step up, to say with courage what the entire group has been thinking. When the one person says “it” (whatever “it” is), the rest of the group finds permission to say, “Yes! Me, too.” Speaking a truth gives our friends permission to speak. Living fearlessly gives others permission to live fearlessly. Loving generously can change our lives and the world.

Each of us, by the words we speak and the steps we take, shape the tenor and courage of the people with whom we speak and walk. Are there conversations of the gospel kind in which you long for more? Would you risk breaking the ice to fill that longing? Your first words might be the nudge others need in order to confess what we believe.

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 - Joseph

His name means: "May He [God] Add"

His work: Joseph was a working man who supported his family through the trade of carpentry.
His character: A man who traced his ancestry back to David, Joseph was just, compassionate, and obedient to God. Though poor, he was a good husband and father, providing for and protecting his family.
His sorrow: That Herod the Great tried to murder his son, Jesus.
His triumph: To be used by God to protect and provide for the world's Savior. Through him, Jesus could trace his ancestry to King David and the tribe of Judah.
Key Scriptures: Matthew 1-2; Luke 2

A Look at the Man

Three times Joseph saw angels in his dreams. In the first appearance, the angel announced something impossible: Mary had become pregnant, though she had not been unfaithful to him. In the second, the angel warned him to flee to Egypt to escape Herod's plan to murder the boy Jesus. Later, an angel sounded the all clear, informing Joseph of Herod's death so that he could return to Israel with Mary and Jesus.

Though we know little of Joseph from the Scriptures, we know at least of his remarkable faith and obedience. Each time the angels appeared to him, they revealed something he could not have known without divine revelation. But each new revelation presented him with a choice. Would he do as the angel instructed, or would he rely on his own understanding and do as he thought best? It would have been so easy to brush off the first dream. When in the history of the world had a woman ever become pregnant without sleeping with a man? Common sense would have told him to proceed with his plan to set Mary aside and marry someone else. Instead, he heeded the angel and, by doing so, said yes to God's surprising plan for his life.
Did Joseph comprehend the enormity of the decisions he was making? Possibly. But certainly he could not foresee the strange mixture of blessing and suffering that lay in store for him and his family. His yes would cost him many sleepless nights, but it would also involve him in the greatest miracle ever.

Centuries later we celebrate Joseph's life, knowing that he was everything a father should be—spiritually perceptive, compassionate, humble, faithful, loving and protective toward the family the Lord had given him.

Reflect On: Genesis 39:1–5 (This is an account of another Joseph, but the similarities between these two obedient men and God’s gracious blessing is striking.)
Praise God: For offering a love that constrains us to obedience.
Offer Thanks: For blessing you with the responsibility of leading and directing the lives of young people—children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, neighbors.
Confess: Your sin and willful disobedience.
Ask God: To give you a heart that is drawn to him in love and compliance to his perfect will and to empower you in the task of leading these young ones in his ways.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.

His Princess Every Day - Rest for the Warrior

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

My Princess Warrior,

I am never too tired to carry you when you’re too weak to walk. This is one of the privileges of being My Princess. Take my gift of a Sabbath and rest, my beloved. Allow your body and  mind to refuel while you rest. I can lift that heaviness in your heary so you will be more effective. Let Me be your refuge when you’re weary from life. I am the One who wants to bear all burdens. Now rest in me to receive My perfect peace, which will refresh and renew your strength. Now let go, and find rest for your weary soul.

Your God of perfect peace

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

A Prayer for the Weary

I pray in Jesus name that you will be refreshed by His love, and learn to lay your burdens at His feet. I pray that you will stand on His promises and find rest in knowing your God will take care of you. I pray you will allow Him to comfort and restore you from the inside out. May you have the peace of knowing that the Creator of everything loves you. May you be strengthened in Him so that you will be ready to fight any battle you may face.

And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. - Genesis 2:3 (NLT)

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 - Grace Times Grace

Today’s Truth
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:2, NKJV).
Friend to Friend

When my daughter Noelle was in 3rd grade, she had a clever multiplication exercise called “Minuto Loco” which means crazy minute in Spanish.

The kids had to see how many multiplication problems they could solve in one minute. The first “Minuto Loco” exercise was on the twos. Once they mastered the twos, they could move on to threes and so forth.

But my daughter had a problem. She was getting stuck after only a few seconds and her incomplete sheet bore testimony that multiplication was not her favorite subject. Most of her other classmates were at a higher number than she was.

My husband James went into full-on tutor mode. He made flashcards. He printed out multiplication practice sheets. Each weeknight, he would drill Noelle for a few minutes.

Maybe you are facing a problem like my daughter Noelle. You’re completely stumped. You have problems at work. You’re wondering how to fulfill all your commitments and remain sane. You wish things were better with a friend or family member. Thinking of solutions is like staring at a blank piece of paper. The good news is you are not alone. You have a tutor in the Holy Spirit who can teach, comfort, and guide you.

Invite God’s multiplication to work in your favor.

Grace times grace. Grace may be defined as the unmerited or undeserving favor of God to those who are under condemnation.

Peace times peace. Peace is the concept of being complete or sound. It’s not just the absence of hostility; it’s the presence of harmony and living well. The Apostle Peter greeted believers with the words “Grace and peace be multiplied to you.” He knew the believers needed that encouragement and likewise, modern believers do too.

How can you multiply God’s grace and peace in your life? Reading in 2 Peter 1:5-7, you discover when believers diligently strive after a deep knowledge of God and of Jesus, God multiplies grace and peace to them. Peter instructed believers to make every effort to add goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love to their faith.

I have good news about my daughter Noelle. After spending time with her father, Noelle eventually tamed “Minuto Loco” and actually became one of the multiplication leaders in her class. Her diligence paid off.

And yours will too.

The more you spend time with God and the more you obey His Word, the more you’ll find grace and peace multiplied to you, past counting in your life.

Now that’s math anyone can get excited about!

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, I want more of Your grace and peace in my life. I will be diligent to study and obey the commandments found in the Bible. Thank you for multiplying grace and peace in my life. You know the challenges I’m facing today. Come and shower me with your grace. Fill my life with the peace that is beyond human understanding.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

What problems are you facing in your life right now? Ask God to multiply grace and peace in those situations – that’s His part. Make sure you are being diligent to know God and obey His commandments – that’s your part. Read 2 Peter 1:5-7 and pray about adding those virtues to your life.

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion is from speaker and author Arlene Pellicane. You can watch her multiplication loving daughter Noelle in this video about Arlene’s book 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom. In this book, you’ll learn how to become a mom who is characterized by joy, not stress. Visit for more resources including a monthly Happy Home Podcast.

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

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

Daily Devotional by John Piper - The Soul’s Final Feast

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
God is not unresponsive to the contrite longing of the soul. He comes and lifts the load of sin and fills our heart with gladness and gratitude. “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” (Psalm 30:11–12).

But our joy does not just rise from the backward glance in gratitude. It also rises from the forward glance in hope: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:5–6).

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope” (Psalm 130:5).

In the end, the heart longs not for any of God’s good gifts, but for God himself. To see him and know him and be in his presence is the soul’s final feast. Beyond this there is no quest. Words fail. We call it pleasure, joy, delight. But these are weak pointers to the unspeakable experience:

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

“In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

“Delight yourself in the Lord” (Psalm 37:4).

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR

Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:42

The second part of the Great Commandment (Luke 10:27) is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus then tells the story of the Good Samaritan. In this story Jesus defines our neighbor as anyone in need of help. This kind of love is very practical.

It was the middle of winter and the elderly Christian in prison had a badly infected ear. He thanked God that he had been able to keep his fur hat affording him some protection from the biting cold. At least he had a pillow at night.

One day one of his cellmates asked him for his fur hat. The Christian had been willing to share food with his cellmates, but felt he could not give up his hat. After all, he had an infected ear. He needed that hat.

Through the night he wrestled with his conscience. He was haunted by this scripture: “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:42).

After a night of prayer, he sought forgiveness before God and was ready to hand over his hat. In the morning he learned that during the night the guards had taken the cellmate to another prison with a more severe climate.

That same morning, the guards held a routine check of the cell and among the personal objects confiscated was the believer’s fur hat.

He had tried to keep something that he was about to lose and God wanted to see the hat used for continued good with the other prisoner. Many years later, this believer remembered that lesson in Christian maturity which the Holy Spirit taught him.

RESPONSE: Today I will live in the realization that people are more important than things.

PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to not be tied down by my possessions but be open to sharing what You have given me with others in need.

Un Dia a la Vez - Ángeles a nuestro alrededor

Ningún mal habrá de sobrevenirte, ninguna calamidad llegará a tu hogar. Porque él ordenará que sus ángeles te cuiden en todos tus caminos. Salmo 91:10-11

Hablar de los ángeles son palabras mayores y la verdad es que no voy a entrar en ese tema de explicarte cómo son. Lo único que puedo decirte es que la Biblia registra más de cien versículos donde los ángeles tuvieron su aparición en diferentes momentos de la historia bíblica.

En el mundo actual, hay personas que dicen que han tenido experiencias con ángeles, que los han visto. Aunque yo no he visto ninguno, sí creo que Dios nos envía ángeles que nos protegen de todo mal y peligro.

En realidad, es importante que te acostumbres a orar y a pedirle a Dios que les ordene a sus ángeles que estén alrededor de nuestras casas, autos e hijos. En mi caso, confío en que a pesar de que no los veo, están siempre conmigo. Además, sé que en muchas ocasiones me han librado del peligro.

Verse of the Day - September 16, 2016

James 3:13 (NIV) [ Two Kinds of Wisdom ] Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

Read all of James 3

Our Daily Bread - A Pleasing Aroma

By Keila Ochoa

We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:15

A perfumer who works in New York declares that she can recognize certain combinations of scents and guess the perfumer behind a fragrance. With just a sniff she can say, “This is Jenny’s work.”

When writing to the followers of Christ in the city of Corinth, Paul at one point used an example that would have reminded them of a victorious Roman army in a conquered city burning incense (2 Cor. 2:14). The general would come through first, followed by his troops and then the defeated army. For the Romans, the aroma of the incense meant victory; for the prisoners, it meant death.

Paul said we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ’s victory over sin. God has given us the fragrance of Christ Himself so we can become a sweet-smelling sacrifice of praise. But how can we live so we spread this pleasing fragrance to others? We can show generosity and love, and we can share the gospel with others so they can find the way to salvation. We can allow the Spirit to display through us His gifts of love, joy, and kindness (Gal. 5:22–23).

Do others observe us and say, “This is Jesus’s work”? Are we allowing Him to spread His fragrance through us and then telling others about Him? He is the Ultimate Perfumer—the most exquisite fragrance there will ever be.

Do others recognize the work of God in my life? Am I spreading the fragrance of Christ? How?

A godly life is a fragrance that draws others to Christ.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Un grato olor

Por Keila Ochoa

Para Dios somos grato olor de Cristo… (2 Corintios 2: 15).

Una perfumista dice que puede reconocer ciertas fragancias y saber quién combinó las esencias. Con solo olfatearlas, puede decir: «Esta es obra de Jenny».

Al escribir a los seguidores de Cristo en Corinto, Pablo usó un ejemplo que les habrá recordado a un ejército romano que quemaba incienso cuando entraba victorioso en una ciudad conquistada (2 Corintios 2:14). El general iba al frente; luego, sus tropas; y al final, el ejército derrotado. Para los romanos, el aroma del incienso significaba victoria; para los prisioneros, muerte.

Pablo dijo que somos para Dios el grato olor de la victoria de Cristo sobre el pecado. Dios nos ha dado la fragancia de Cristo mismo para que podamos ser un fragante sacrificio de alabanza. Pero ¿cómo podemos vivir para difundir esta agradable fragancia a otros? Mostrando generosidad y amor, y testificando del evangelio para que otros sean salvos. Además, permitiendo que el Espíritu muestre a través de nosotros su fruto de amor, gozo y bondad (Gálatas 5:22-23).

¿Nos observan los demás y dicen: «Esta es obra de Jesús»? ¿Estamos dejando que Él difunda su fragancia a través de nosotros? Él es el Perfumista Perfecto; la fragancia más exquisita que pueda existir.

¿Reconocen otros la obra de Dios en mi vida? ¿Estoy difundiendo la fragancia de Cristo? ¿Cómo?

Una vida santa es una fragancia que atrae a otros hacia Cristo.

© 2016 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Хлеб наш насущный - Приятное благоухание

автор: Кейла Очоа

...Мы Христово благоухание Богу... 2 Коринфянам 2:15

Парфюмер из Нью-Йорка заявляет, что может распознать определенную комбинацию ароматов и даже назвать имя мастера, составившего ее. Один лишь вдох – и готово: «Это работа Дженни».

Обращаясь к христианам в Коринфе, Павел в одном месте употребил иллюстрацию триумфального парада римской армии, сопровождавшегося воскурением благовоний (2 Кор. 2:14). Генерал шествовал во главе процессии, за ним маршировали торжествующие войска, а в конце брели пленные. Для римлян аромат благовоний означал победу, для узников – смерть.

Павел пишет, что мы – приятное благоухание Христовой победы над грехом. Бог даровал нам аромат Самого Христа, чтобы мы стали благоуханной жертвой хвалы и славословия. Но как распространить этот запах среди людей? Мы можем проявлять щедрость и любовь, можем делиться Благой вестью, чтобы другие тоже нашли путь к спасению. Мы можем дать свободу Духу являть в нас плоды любви, радости и доброты (Гал. 5:22-23).

Могут ли окружающие, глядя на нас, сказать: «Это работа Иисуса Христа»? Позволяем ли мы Ему распространять через нас Свое благоухание? Он – величайший «парфюмер», создавший прекраснейший из запахов.

Видят ли другие труд Христа в моей жизни? Распространяю ли я Его благоухание? Как?

Богоугодная жизнь – это аромат, привлекающий других к Спасителю.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Un véritable parfum

par Keila Ochoa

Nous sommes, en effet, pour Dieu le parfum de Christ. 2 Corinthiens 2.15

Une parfumeuse new‑yorkaise se dit capable de reconnaître certaines combinaisons de senteurs et de deviner ainsi l’identité du parfumeur ayant créé la fragrance en question. Il lui suffit d’une seule respiration pour déclarer : « C’est l’oeuvre de Jenny. »

En écrivant aux disciples de Christ à Corinthe, Paul s’est servi un jour d’un exemple qui a dû évoquer pour eux une armée romaine victorieuse qui brûle des parfums en traversant une ville conquise (2 CO 2.14). Le général passait le premier, suivi de ses troupes, puis de l’armée vaincue. Pour les Romains, le parfum d’encens était synonyme de victoire ; pour les prisonniers, il annonçait leur mort.

Paul a dit que nous sommes pour Dieu le parfum de la victoire de Christ sur le péché. Dieu nous a donné la fragrance même de Christ, afin que nous devenions un sacrifice parfumé de louanges ; mais comment vivre de manière à étendre ce parfum aux autres ? Nous pouvons user de générosité et d’amour, et leur transmettre l’Évangile pour les conduire au salut. Nous pouvons aussi permettre à l’Esprit de manifester par nous son fruit d’amour, de joie et de bonté (GA 5.22,23).

En nous regardant vivre, des gens se disent‑ils : « C’est l’oeuvre de Jésus ? » Lui permettons‑nous de répandre son parfum en nous, pour ensuite le faire découvrir à d’autres ? Christ est le Parfumeur suprême, la fragrance la plus exquise qui puisse exister.

Une vie de piété est un parfum qui attire les gens à Christ.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ