Sunday, September 18, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Unsung Heroes

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.

“Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom…. Wealth and honor come from you.” 1 Chronicles 29:11–12

As a society, we are inclined to honor heroes and high achievers. We award a Purple Heart to soldiers wounded in action. We admire All‐Americans who excel in college football, basketball, or baseball. We celebrate winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. We applaud students who graduate magna cum laude. We fawn over movie stars at the Academy Awards. But who takes time to honor the wives and husbands who diligently fulfill their responsibilities each day? Who cares about these unsung heroes who give of themselves, sacrificing for their children or caring for each other? Most often, the only cheering section for such couples is themselves—but when one partner doesn’t seem to notice, it’s pretty tough for the other to feel valued or motivated.

Scripture is clear regarding this matter. The apostle Paul says, “Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10). There’s no better place to apply this verse than in your home—with the husband or wife sitting next to you.

Just between us…
  • What do you think honoring each other means in the context of marriage?
  • Do you feel “honored” by me?
  • Do you know, without a doubt, that I hold you in highest esteem?
When in our marriage have you most felt this way? When have you not?

Dear Lord, in our rush to admire and celebrate the achievements of others, help us to remember the loving life partner right beside us who most deserves our appreciation and respect. Open our eyes to simple but meaningful ways we can show honor. 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 18, 2016

First Reading
Amos 8:4-7

Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, saying, "When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances, buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat." The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.

Psalm 113 Laudate, pueri
1   Hallelujah! Give praise, you servants of the LORD; praise the Name of the LORD.
2   Let the Name of the LORD be blessed, from this time forth for evermore.
3   From the rising of the sun to its going down let the Name of the LORD be praised.
4   The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
5   Who is like the LORD our God, who sits enthroned on high, but stoops to behold the heavens and the earth?
6   He takes up the weak out of the dust and lifts up the poor from the ashes.
7   He sets them with the princes, with the princes of his people.
8   He makes the woman of a childless house to be a joyful mother of children.

Second Reading
1 Timothy 2:1-7

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all-- this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Holy Gospel
Luke 16:1-13

Then Jesus said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.' Then the manager said to himself, 'What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.' So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' He answered, 'A hundred jugs of olive oil.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.' Then he asked another, 'And how much do you owe?' He replied, 'A hundred containers of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill and make it eighty.' And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes. "Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."

Continuous Reading Track

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
My joy is gone, grief is upon me, my heart is sick. Hark, the cry of my poor people from far and wide in the land: "Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not in her?" ("Why have they provoked me to anger with their images, with their foreign idols?") "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored? O that my head were a spring of water, and my eyes a fountain of tears, so that I might weep day and night for the slain of my poor people!

Psalm 79:1-9
1   O God, the heathen have come into your inheritance; they have profaned your holy temple; they have made Jerusalem a heap of rubble.
2   They have given the bodies of your servants as food for the birds of the air, and the flesh of your faithful ones to the beasts of the field.
3   They have shed their blood like water on every side of Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.
4   We have become a reproach to our neighbors, an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
5   How long will you be angry, O LORD? will your fury blaze like fire for ever?
6   Pour out your wrath upon the heathen who have not known you and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon your Name.
7   For they have devoured Jacob and made his dwelling a ruin.
8   Remember not our past sins; let your compassion be swift to meet us; for we have been brought very low.
9   Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your Name; deliver us and forgive us our sins, for your Name's sake.

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.

Luke 16:1-13 - Jesus Sense of Humor

Holy Gospel
Luke 16:1-13 (RSV)

"He also said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. And he called him and said to him, ’What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’ And the steward said to himself, ’What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses when I am put out of the stewardship.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ’How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ’A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ’Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ’And how much do you owe?’ He said, ’A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ’Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest steward for his shrewdness; for the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations. "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.""

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen


The parable in our gospel lesson this morning is difficult for us to understand, because it is not a positive parable, but a negative one. To help us to understand this parable, I would like to share a modern parable, and then a story about a political who was concerned about getting reelected.

The Parable of the Labor Racketeer. There was a certain labor racketeer who had grown rich on sweetheart contracts and in the use of pension fund money. One day he found that the F.B.I. was tailing him and he began to suspect that there was no escape for him. So what did he do? Carefully he put a large sum of money in a Swiss bank so that no one could touch it and faced trial. After exhausting all appeals, he was sentenced and served time in the Atlanta Federal Prison. Having served time, He took his money and moved to Miami Beach where he lived happily ever after.

The second story is about Senator Huey Long who was trying to get reelected to the Senate. He was campaigning in southern Louisiana where he was taken aside by a local politician and reminded that he would be speaking to a lot of Catholic voters. Throughout the day Huey told his audiences how as a boy he would get up at six o’clock on Sunday mornings, hitch the family horse to the buggy and take his Catholic grandparents to mass. After he brought them home, he would turn around and take his Baptist grandparents to church.

At the end of the day, the, local politician complimented Huey and expressed his surprise at learning he had Catholic grandparents, To which Huey Long replied: "Don’t be a fool. We didn’t even have a horse."

Aren’t these stories edifying? Would you like to be one of these people? They are rascals, rogues, crooks, liars, and all around pretty unquestionable people. These stories are not good examples of how we are to live our lives. But this is just the kind of story Jesus told, about a crook, a dishonest steward who was commended for his dishonesty. He had cheated his boss and was being fired. But before he lost his job, he thought about how he would take care of himself. He was used to a good living and couldn’t bear to dig ditches or beg, So he decided that the people who owed his boss money would be grateful to him, if their bill could be changed. So, he invited these debtors in, as asks them to change their bill. His boss finds out about it and instead of becoming angry, he commends this guy for using his head, for thinking fast on his feet, so that he would be taken care of.

Jesus was using humor, dry humor to make a point. There is a bit of irony in this story. We aren’t to be like the dishonest steward in his dishonest deeds, but this is the point, we are to be like him in that he thought how he could get himself out of such a desperate situation.

Jesus is letting his disciples know with a great force, with a dry sense of humor, that the men of the world are outsmarting the men of light. This conniving rogue faced the facts, sized up a situation and acted in quick, cold logic. Jesus wished that his followers would do as much from nobler motives.

Jesus is saying in a humorous way, if only the Christian was as eager and ingenious in his attempt to attain goodness as the men of the world are in their attempts to attain money and comfort. Jesus wants us to act with the same intensity in our discipleship toward him as the rascals, cheats, and crooks act in their attempt to gain comfort and wealth.

If crooks and those who are only looking out for their own welfare are so ingenious and can act so decisively about things that really don’t matter, why does a Christian seem so casual about the care of his/her soul? Do we as Christians work as hard at our discipleship in following Jesus, as the two business men in the following story do and trying to cheat people?

"Two partners had a clothing store. One would stay in the back room while the other waited on the people. The one waiting on the people would pretend he was hard of hearing. When a customer would choose a suit he liked, he would ask the price. The clerk would call to his partner in the back room, "How much is this suit, Harry?" Harry would reply loud and clear so the customer would be sure to hear, "$149.00."

The clerk would then say," He said it is $129.00."

Many people would hurry and buy the suit for $129.00, thinking they were making a good deal because the person waiting on them did not hear the right price. Little did the customer realize that his greed cost him several dollars. The same suit sold for $119.00 or less in other places."

These two men went to great lengths to assure themselves of a comfortable living at the cost of cheating the public. But do we as children of the light as Jesus describes those who follow him, act with the same intensity, the same effort in living for Jesus???

Do we practice our prayer life with the same intensity as a professional athlete practices to improve his skills? I read in the Reader’s Digest about a golfer who wanted to make the professional golfers tour, the article said the man practiced so long and so hard that his hands would frequently bleed at the end of the practice session. How many of us have bleeding hands because we have folded them in prayer for so long and with such intensity? Do we have such drive to communicate with God, as that golfer did in trying to put a little ball in a little cup so that he could make so big money??

Do you see the point Jesus is making in this parable? He is saying that since the people of the world are so intense in their way of life, why aren’t my followers?? If the crooks of the world will stop at nothing to make money, if the professional athlete will practice long and hard to become good, why aren’t we who are followers of Jesus as committed to him with such zeal, ambition, and dedication? Jesus says,"for the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light". Jesus is saying, why aren’t you as committed to me with such shrewdness as the sons or people of this world are in looking out for themselves?

This parable deals not with money, or commending a person for being dishonest, but this parable really deals with one’s commitment or discipleship toward Jesus. Jesus wants our lifestyle committed to him. He wants the way we act, the way we think, the way we make decisions, the way we interact with others, all to be influenced by our commitment to Jesus Christ.

Jesus doesn’t want us for only one hour a week on Sunday morning, but he wants every hour every day, He wants an intensity in that relationship that comes before anything else on this earth. And he wants us to work at that commitment. Not take it for granted, or leave it all up to him, but he wants our active participation in this relationship.

In this relationship we have with Jesus, we come to experience his love for us, then we take that love and give it to others. We become a tool, we became the incarnate presence of Jesus’ love in a world that is crying out for some one to care. Jesus wants our incarnate presence in the world to be intense, fully commitment to bring his love into all that brokenness.

The gentlemen in the following story is an example of the kind of person Jesus is talking about.

"This man was a retired farmer who was devoutly religious. Each day of his life, he would offer in prayer the names of his offspring, extending to those who were even in the 5th generation. Every day he would pray for these children, and many generations of great grandchildren. He would offer in prayer the needs, the joys, the heartache, the events of celebration that came into their lives and also into his life. He felt that if he prayed for them, if he communicated to God how indeed important all their souls and lives were to him, God would indeed be faithful and play an active part in their lives. But as these generations grew, some would feel awkward and ashamed at his open faith and his reminder that daily he was praying for them, because many of them did not have a relationship to this God that was so important in this man’s life.

When the old gentleman died, one member who was of the third generation finally realized what had been happening in his life.

Since the moment of his birth, this man had been daily saying his name in prayer. In his mind’s eye, he could now picture this man with his arms and hands uplifted in prayer, heavy with the weight of the entire family. Heavy with the weight of his life that needed that kind of prayer that he had not said on his own.

He approached the casket the reached out and touched his grandfather’s hands, a belated, but heartfelt act of gratitude and thanksgiving for all the prayers that had been offered."

But sadly, many people of faith have little intensity, little effort, to portray the love of Christ in their lives or in the lives of others. This parable is not about money, but about commitment, giving of ones self to Jesus.

But too many of us are like the people in the following:

"A young pastor was called to a small town in Iowa. He had tried for several months to move the people to a more dedicated Christian life. He visited the membership faithfully. Worked diligently on his sermons. But to no available.

He felt his flock, his church was dead. So the pastor placed a notice in the local paper stating that since the church was dead, it was his duty to give it a decent Christian burial. The funeral would be held the following Sunday morning.

Morbidly curious, the whole town turned out for the funeral. In front of the church the people could see a large casket covered with flowers, he read an eulogy, delivered a sermon on how the church had suffered a slow and painful death.

Then he invited the congregation to step forward and pay their last respects to the departed. As they filed by, each one peeked into the casket and quickly turned away with a guilty sheepish look. For in the casket, titled at the correct angle, contained a large mirror. Everyone saw his/her own reflection as perhaps never before!!

The following Sunday, the congregation was in their pews and waiting for the pastor as they realized what indeed the church, the body of Christ was all about. It is about souls, and discipleship, commitment and surrendering one’s whole life over to Christ."

 A commitment to Jesus and to the body of Christ, the church, is what Jesus is getting at in this parable.

Jesus closes this parable with a statement which strikes to the heart of the matter as he says: "No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon."

John Ruskin a famous preacher of days gone by, said this as he watched a lamplighter lighting the gas street light. "Now that is what I mean by a Christian. You ought to be able to see where he has been by the lights that he leaves burning behind him."

Is your light burning for Christ for others to see clearly??

Sermon shared by Tim Zingale
September 2004

The Forward Day by Day Meditation for September 18, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Jonathan Melton

Luke 16:3 (NRSV) The manager said to himself, “What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.”

Reading Luke’s lesson today, I hear foreshadowing of what Paul will refer to as Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation. After all, the power of the gospel is not measured in status achieved over others but in hostilities extinguished and friendships restored. Ironically, the manager in our story discovers this power when he loses his position.

As a campus minister at a public university, I ask the students questions about what they love about Jesus. I ask these questions because there is no obvious advantage for these students to have public identities as Christians. Perhaps once upon a time, church membership yielded professional gain, but that privilege no longer exists. Today’s students can be thought of as socially respectable without being good, church-going folk.

What motivates us to be loud and proud Jesus people? What you know will save you, but who you know (outside of Jesus) won’t. The question for today is the same that the manager asks: “What will I do now?”

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 - Personas que son como ángeles

Preocupémonos los unos por los otros, a fin de estimularnos al amor y a las buenas obras. Hebreos 10:24

¿Has vivido la experiencia de conocer personas que parecen ángeles? ¿Personas que aparecen en momentos de nuestra vida que nos hacen decir que son como ángeles? Es decir, personas que nos ayudaron en una situación determinada. Es una gran experiencia encontrase en el camino con estos seres especiales con un corazón tan grande que nos conmueven. Por eso los llamo ángeles enviados por Dios a nuestra vida.

Trata de recordar a esa persona que en momentos de angustia y tribulación te ayudaron, te escucharon y te sacaron adelante. O quizá tú hayas sido ese ángel para otros y hoy Dios te honra.

Mi experiencia más cercana fue en una situación donde tenía pendiente una cuenta con mi abogada de inmigración y esa oficina decidió que no podían esperar más a que me pusiera al día y decidieron demandarme. Las cosas hubieran empeorado, pues una demanda podría afectarme mi salida y entrada a los Estados Unidos.

Como testimonio, te cuento que cuando los papeles llegaron al tribunal, allí había un angelito, una mujer que, cuando vio mi nombre, llamó a la emisora y pidió que no la identificaran. En su conversación con mi jefe, dijo: «Soy oyente de Claudia y necesito que le diga que sus papeles están aquí. Por eso, debe hablar con su abogada y pedirle que quite la demanda. Sé que le pueden dar una oportunidad». Para la gloria de Dios, eso fue lo que pasó. Me acerqué de nuevo a mi abogada, me dio la oportunidad y quitó la demanda.

¿Son ángeles o no estas personas? Dios permita que ella esté leyendo mi libro para decirle: «Dios te guarde y bendiga grandemente».

Daily Devotional by John Piper - The Only True Freedom

Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31–32)
What is true freedom? Are you free?
  1. If you don't have the desire to do a thing, you are not fully free to do it. Oh, you may muster the will power to do what you don't want to do, but nobody calls that full freedom. It's not the way we want to live. There is a constraint and pressure on us that we don't want.
  2. And if you have the desire to do something, but no ability to do it, you are not free to do it.
  3. And if you have the desire and the ability to do something, but no opportunity to do it, you are not free to do it.
  4. And if you have the desire to do something, and the ability to do it, and the opportunity to do it, but it destroys you in the end, you are not fully free — not free indeed.
To be fully free, we must have the desire, the ability, and the opportunity to do what will make us happy forever. No regrets. And only Jesus, the Son of God who died and rose for us, can make that possible.

If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK

If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Luke 6:29

An Open Doors colleague shares the following incident from an SSTS seminar in Indonesia:

I remember standing in front of nearly 800 pastors on the island of Timor facing a serious dilemma. Most of the pastors were victims of attacks by Muslims on the island of Ambon. They had lost homes, churches and even family members during these attacks. They were hurt, devastated and needed answers to the challenges they faced.

As soon as I started preaching, one pastor stood up and interrupted me: “Must we accept the persecution from the Muslims or must we retaliate? We are tired of forgiving just to be attacked again. We believe it is time to defend the honor of God and retaliate. What must we do?”

I understood perfectly the challenges. I had met those who were attacked and I have seen the scars on the bodies of those who simply accepted it. I understood there was no easy answer. Then another pastor interrupted: “No, pastor, tell this brother he is wrong. The Bible tells us to accept our suffering. We will dishonor God if we retaliate. Seventy times seven we need to forgive. Isn’t this true?”

I looked at the pastors and replied, “The Bible is clear. You MUST retaliate!”

There was silence. I sensed the division. I could see the smiles on the faces of those who agreed and saw those who disagreed getting ready to leave the hall.

“Wait, brothers!” I intervened. “Before you leave, let me finish my sentence. Luke 6 teaches us clearly to retaliate, but in doing so, we need to choose our weapons. When someone curses you, you don’t just accept it. You retaliate by blessing him. When someone mistreats you and persecute you, you don’t just accept it. You retaliate by praying for him. When someone takes your cloak you retaliate by giving your undercoat. When someone slaps you in the face, don’t stand for it. Retaliate! Turn your other cheek.”

The burden of just accepting suffering was broken. They were satisfied.

RESPONSE: Today I will retaliate against attacks upon me using the spiritual weapons of Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord, may I always remember how You want me to respond when others treat me badly.

Verse of the Day - September 18, 2016

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Read all of Philippians 2

Our Daily Bread - Making Preparations

By Cindy Hess Kasper

If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:3 

As we viewed my father-in-law’s body in his casket at the funeral home, one of his sons took his dad’s hammer and tucked it alongside his folded hands. Years later, when my mother-in-law died, one of the children slipped a set of knitting needles under her fingers. Those sweet gestures brought comfort to us as we remembered how often they had used those tools during their lives.

Of course, we knew that they wouldn’t actually need those items in eternity. We had no illusions, as the ancient Egyptians did, that tools or money or weapons buried with someone would better prepare them for the next life. You can’t take it with you! (Ps. 49:16–17; 1 Tim. 6:7).

But some preparation for eternity had been necessary for my in-laws. That preparation had come years before when they trusted Jesus as their Savior.

Planning for the life to come can’t begin at the time of our death. Each of us prepares our heart by accepting the gift of salvation made possible by Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross.

At the same time, God has made preparations as well: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3). He has promised to prepare a place for us to spend eternity with Him.

Father, we're grateful that we will have a place with You one day. Thank You that you will fill us with joy in Your presence.

God gives us time—to prepare for eternity.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Preparativos

Por Cindy Hess Kasper

Y si me fuere y os preparare lugar, vendré otra vez, y os tomaré a mí mismo… (Juan 14:3).

Mientras veíamos el cuerpo de mi suegro en su ataúd en la funeraria, uno de sus hijos puso el martillo de su padre al lado de sus manos. Años después, cuando murió mi suegra, uno de sus hijos deslizó un par de agujas de tejer entre sus dedos. Esos tiernos gestos nos reconfortaron, al recordar la frecuencia con que ellos habían usado esos instrumentos durante sus vidas.

Sabíamos, por supuesto, que no iban a necesitar esas cosas en la eternidad. No teníamos la idea falsa de los antiguos egipcios, quienes creían que objetos, dinero o armas enterradas con alguien lo prepararían para la vida siguiente. ¡No podemos llevarnos nada! (Salmo 49:16-17; 1 Timoteo 6:7).

Sin embargo, mis suegros habían necesitado cierta preparación para la eternidad, que llegó años antes cuando confiaron en Jesús como su Salvador. Los preparativos para la vida futura no pueden comenzar cuando morimos. Cada persona debe preparar su corazón, aceptando el regalo de la salvación que se hizo posible por el sacrificio de Jesús en la cruz.

Dios también ha hecho preparativos: «Vendré otra vez, y os tomaré a mí mismo, para que donde yo estoy, vosotros también estéis» (Juan 14:3). El Señor ha prometido prepararnos un lugar para que vivamos eternamente con Él.

Padre, estamos agradecidos porque tendremos un lugar contigo un día.

Dios nos da tiempo para prepararnos para la eternidad.

© 2016 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Хлеб наш насущный - Подготовка

Читать сейчас: Иоанна 14:1-6 | Библия за год: Притчи 30-31; 1 Коринфянам 10:1-18

автор: Синди Хесс Каспер

«И когда пойду и приготовлю вам место, приду опять и возьму вас к Себе, чтобы и вы были, где Я». Иоанна 14:3

Когда мы прощались с моим тестем, стоя у гроба, один из его сыновей принес молоток, принадлежавший умершему, и положил рядом с его сложенными руками. Через несколько лет умерла его жена, и во время прощания кто-то из детей вложил ей в руки набор иголок для вышивания. Эти предметы каким-то образом скрасили горечь расставания: все вспомнили, как часто папа с мамой пользовались ими при жизни.

Конечно, мы знали, что в вечности им не потребуются ни молоток, ни иголки. У нас не было иллюзий, как у древних египтян, что инструменты, деньги или оружие, погребенные вместе с покойником, помогут ему в следующей жизни. Человек не может ничего унести с собой (Пс. 48:17-18; 1 Тим. 6:7).

Но некоторые приготовления к вечности все-таки необходимы. Мои тесть с тещей совершили их за много лет до смерти: они уверовали в Иисуса Христа.

Готовиться к жизни за гробом нужно заранее. Каждый должен подготовить сердце к вечности, приняв дар спасения в Иисусе Христе.

В то же время Господь совершил Свои приготовления. Он сказал: «Когда пойду и приготовлю вам место, приду опять и возьму вас к Себе, чтобы и вы были, где Я» (Ин. 14:3). Он обещал приготовить место, где мы проведем вечность вместе с Ним.

Отче, благодарим Тебя, что однажды мы войдем в приготовленное Тобой место. Благодарим, что Ты исполнишь нас радостью в Своем присутствии.

Бог дает нам время, чтобы приготовиться к вечности.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Faire des préparatifs

Lisez : Jean 14.1‑6 | La Bible en un an : Proverbes 30 – 31 et 2 Corinthiens 11.1-15

par Cindy Hess Kasper

Et, lorsque je m’en serai allé, et que je vous aurai préparé une place, je reviendrai, et je vous prendrai avec moi, afin que là où je suis vous y soyez aussi. (Jean 14:3)

En voyant le corps de mon beau‑père dans son cercueil aux pompes funèbres, un de ses fils a pris le marteau de son père et l’a déposé à côté de ses mains jointes. Des années plus tard, lorsque ma belle‑mère est morte, un de ses enfants a glissé un ensemble d’aiguilles à tricoter sous ses doigts. Ces gestes de gentillesse nous ont réconfortés en nous remémorant combien de fois tous les deux avaient utilisé ces outils au cours de leur vie.

Nous savions, bien entendu, qu’ils n’auraient pas besoin de ces articles dans l’éternité. Contrairement aux Égyptiens, nous ne nous bercions pas d’illusions en croyant que des outils, de l’argent ou des armes aideraient quelqu’un à mieux se préparer à la vie d’après. On ne peut rien emporter ! (PS 49:16,17 ; 1 TI 6:7.)

Quelques préparatifs en vue de l’éternité s’étaient toutefois imposés dans le cas de mes beaux‑parents. Ils s’y étaient préparés des années auparavant, en mettant leur foi en Jésus comme leur Sauveur.

La planification en vue de la vie à venir ne peut s’amorcer au moment de notre mort. Chacun de nous doit préparer son coeur en acceptant le don du salut rendu possible par les sacrifices de Jésus sur la croix.

Dieu a d’ailleurs lui aussi fait des préparatifs : « Et, lorsque je m’en serai allé, et que je vous aurai préparé une place, je reviendrai, et je vous prendrai avec moi, afin que là où je suis vous y soyez aussi » (JN 14:3). Il a promis de nous préparer une place où passer l’éternité avec lui.

Dieu nous accorde du temps, pour nous préparer à l’éternité.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ