Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Is Honor Overdue?

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.

“Humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15:33

Mr. Smith learned that his neighbor, Mr. Jones, had presented flowers and a gift to Mrs. Jones five nights in a row. He thought, That must be what wins a woman’s heart. So Smith went out and bought a big box of candy and a bouquet of his wife’s favorite flowers. Arriving home a little early that afternoon, he rang the doorbell. When Mrs. Smith appeared, he passionately embraced her. Suddenly she sagged and fell in a heap on the floor. “My goodness! What’s wrong?” he exclaimed. When she regained consciousness, she explained. “Oh, this has been the worst day! Our son received a terrible report card; Mother was admitted to the hospital; the roast burned; the washing machine broke. Now to top it off, you come home drunk!”

If your partner can’t even fathom the possibility that you would bring her flowers or a gift (or some similar surprise), take the hint. It’s time to work on honoring your mate!

Just between us…
  • Would you be shocked if I brought you flowers or some other gift?
  • What’s the best surprise I ever gave you?
  • What kind of thoughtful gesture would be enjoyable and honoring to you?
  • Do you prefer being surprised in front of friends or in private?
Lord, we confess that the hurly-burly pace of living often threatens to suffo- cate our relationship. Remind us to care for each other. Help us to encourage others who are struggling in their marriages. Amen.
  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Illustration from Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem by Dennis and Barbara Rainey (San Bernardino, Calif.: Here’s Life Publishers, 1986).

The Daily Readings for September 21, 2016

Proverbs 3:1-6
My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you. Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and of people. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Psalm 119:33-40 He Legem pone
33   Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end.
34   Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; I shall keep it with all my heart.
35   Make me go in the path of your commandments, for that is my desire.
36   Incline my heart to your decrees and not to unjust gain.
37   Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless; give me life in your ways.
38   Fulfill your promise to your servant, which you make to those who fear you.
39   Turn away the reproach which I dread, because your judgments are good.
40   Behold, I long for your commandments; in your righteousness preserve my life.

2 Timothy 3:14-17
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

Matthew 9:9-13
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" But when he heard this, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners."

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 21, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Jonathan Melton

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRSV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Those who engage the church’s rhythm of morning and evening prayer (also known as the Daily Office) discover that all those small acts aggregate into one massively significant proclamation: “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.”

My only job, the only thing I ought to be about, is proclaiming the glory and joy of the holy and undivided Trinity. It is very easy to forget this most important fact about my vocation. No sooner do I pray to be a person of peace than I am swearing at the copier or lamenting spotty wireless—as if the astonishing and animating Trinity depends in any real way upon those amenities.

I hope to be about the glorification of God, especially in the midst of ordinary life. The writer of Proverbs would have us believe that to acknowledge and proclaim the goodness of God is to be shown ways around all the obstacles that may beset us, making straight our path into the kingdom.

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 - ¿Quiénes son los bendecidos?

El Señor nos recuerda y nos bendice [...] bendice a los que temen al Señor. (Salmo 115:12-13)

Los bendecidos son esos cuya vida está dirigida por la ley de Dios.

El mismo Señor nos enseña lo que debemos hacer y no hacer. Así que las bendiciones son para todos, aunque no todos las hagan suyas. En realidad, les cuesta creer que Dios tiene grandes planes con nosotros.

Ver el triunfo en los demás, es conformismo. Es no comprender que todos somos hijos de Dios y que la ley es para todos, al igual que las bendiciones.

Claro, hay personas que son más comprometidas en las cosas de Dios y guardan de verdad sus mandamientos. Tienen una relación intima con Él en oración y sacan de su tiempo para congregarse y escuchar su Palabra. De ahí que podamos ver que a ellos les llegan más rápido las bendiciones.

Otros hemos sido más cabezas duras y hemos tomado malas decisiones. Por lo tanto, hemos alejado esas bendiciones.

Si queremos recibir bendiciones, debemos ser obedientes a Dios.

Recordemos también que los tiempos del Señor son perfectos y que hay oportunidades en la vida que no podemos dejar pasar.

¿A quiénes bendice Dios? ¡A todos sus hijos!

Verse of the Day - September 21, 2016

2 Corinthians 13:14 (NIV) May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Read all of 2 Corinthians 13

Our Daily Bread - Fiery Trials

By Bill Crowder

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. James 1:2

Fire can be one of the worst enemies of trees. But it can also be helpful. Experts say that small, frequent fires called “cool” fires clean the forest floor of dead leaves and branches but don’t destroy the trees. They leave behind ashes, which are perfect for seeds to grow in. Surprisingly, low-intensity fires are necessary for healthy growth of trees.

Similarly, trials—pictured as fire in the Bible—are necessary for our spiritual health and growth (1 Peter 1:7; 4:12). James wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2–4).

It is in the season of trial that God’s purposes are often realized, for there the conditions are right for us to grow into spiritual maturity. This growth not only equips us for living, but it also enables us to more accurately reflect Jesus to a world that desperately needs Him.

In the hands of our Father, our trials can achieve His purposes for our good and for His honor. They can shape us into the likeness of His Son.

Father, teach me to trust You for the strength to endure difficulties and the faith to wait for Your good purposes to be accomplished in me.

Encourage others! Go to and share what God taught you through a challenging time.

Faith is seeing God in the dark and in the light.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Unser Täglich Brot - Feuerprobe

Lesen: Jakobus 1,2-12 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Prediger 7–9; 2.Korinther 13

Von Bill Crowder

Erachtet es für lauter Freude, wenn ihr in mancherlei Anfechtungen fallt. (Jakobus 1,2)

Feuer ist für Bäume einer der schlimmsten Feinde. Es kann aber auch hilfreich sein. Fachleute sagen, häufige kleine Feuer würden den Waldboden von toten Blättern und Zweigen säubern, den Bäumen selbst aber nichts anhaben. Sie hinterlassen Asche, in der neue Samen gedeihen. Schwache Feuer sind also überraschenderweise nötig für ein gesundes Wachstum der Bäume.

Ähnlich sind Anfechtungen—die in der Bibel oft als Feuer oder Hitze bezeichnet werden—nötig für unsere geistliche Gesundheit und Wachstum (1.Petr. 1,7; 4,12). Jakobus schreibt: „Meine lieben Brüder, erachtet es für lauter Freude, wenn ihr in mancherlei Anfechtungen fallt, und wisst, dass euer Glaube, wenn er bewährt ist, Geduld wirkt. Die Geduld aber soll ihr Werk tun bis ans Ende, damit ihr vollkommen und unversehrt seid und kein Mangel an euch sei“ (Jak. 1,2-4).

Oft sind es gerade die Zeiten der Anfechtungen, in denen Gott zu seinem Ziel kommt, denn da stimmen die Voraussetzungen für unser geistliches Wachstum. Dieses Wachstum befähigt uns nicht nur zum Leben, sondern hilft uns auch, etwas von Jesus widerzuspiegeln in einer Welt, die ihn dringend nötig hat.

In der Hand unseres Vaters können die Anfechtungen, die wir erleben, zu seinen guten Zielen führen und ihn ehren.

Vater, hilf mir, in Schwierigkeiten auf deine Stärke zu vertrauen und zu glauben, dass du mit mir zu einem guten Ziel kommen willst. Mach anderen Mut! Teile auf, was du in einer schwierigen Zeit über Gott gelernt hast.

Glaube sieht Gott im Dunkeln und im Licht.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Огненные испытания

Читать сейчас: Иакова 1:2-12 | Библия за год: Екклесиаст 7-9; 1 Коринфянам 11:17-34

автор: Билл Краудер

С великой радостью принимайте, братья мои, когда впадаете в различные искушения. Иакова 1:2

Огонь – главный враг леса. Однако при определенных условиях он может быть полезным. Специалисты говорят, что небольшие, так называемые прохладные, пожары очищают лес от опавших листьев и веток, но не вредят деревьям. А пепел становится идеальным удобрением для семян. Так что слабые пожары приносят лесу ощутимую пользу.

Подобным образом испытания, изображаемые в Библии как огонь, важны для нашего духовного здоровья и роста (1 Пет. 1:7; 4:12). Иаков писал: «С великой радостью принимайте, братья мои, когда впадаете в различные искушения, зная, что испытание вашей веры производит терпение; терпение же должно иметь совершенное действие, чтобы вы были совершенны во всей полноте, без всякого недостатка» (Иак. 1:2-4).

Божьи цели нередко достигаются именно во времена испытаний, поскольку в них создаются наилучшие условия для достижения духовной зрелости. Этот рост не только помогает утвердиться в жизни, но также делает нас способными лучше отражать Иисуса Христа для мира, которому Он так нужен.

В руках Небесного Отца испытания содействуют нашему благу и Его славе. Они преображают нас в образ Его Сына.

Отче, научи меня доверять Твоей силе в преодолении трудностей и ожидать, когда Твои благие намерения исполнятся во мне.

Вера видит Бога и во свете, и во тьме.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - De redoutables épreuves

par Bill Crowder

Mes frères, regardez comme un sujet de joie complète les diverses épreuves auxquelles vous pouvez être exposés. (Jacques 1.2)

Le feu peut être l’un des pires ennemis des arbres. Il peut aussi s’avérer utile. Des spécialistes disent que de petits feux fréquents nommés feux « cool » ont pour effet de nettoyer le sol d’une forêt en éliminant les feuilles mortes sans détruire les arbres. Ces feux laissent derrière eux des cendres qui conviennent parfaitement à la croissance des graines. Étonnamment, les feux de faible intensité sont nécessaires à la bonne croissance des arbres.

De même, les épreuves – représentées par le feu dans la Bible – sont nécessaires à notre santé et à notre croissance spirituelles (1 PI 1.7 ; 4.12). Jacques a écrit : « Mes frères, regardez comme un sujet de joie complète les diverses épreuves auxquelles vous pouvez être exposés, sachant que l’épreuve de votre foi produit la patience. Mais il faut que la patience accomplisse parfaitement son oeuvre, afin que vous soyez parfaits et accomplis, sans faillir en rien » (JA 1.2‑4).

C’est souvent dans une période éprouvante que les desseins de Dieu s’accomplissent, car elles se prêtent bien à notre croissance vers la maturité spirituelle. Cette croissance non seulement nous trace la voie à suivre dans la vie, mais encore elle nous permet de mieux refléter Jésus auprès d’un monde ayant désespérément besoin de lui.

Entre les mains du Père, nos épreuves peuvent accomplir ses desseins concourant à notre bien et à son honneur. Elles sont également susceptibles de nous façonner à la ressemblance de son Fils.

La foi consiste à voir Dieu dans les ténèbres comme dans la lumière.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ