Thursday, September 22, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Honoring Mom and Dad

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.

“Honor your father and your mother.” Exodus 20:12

Who do you think is most responsible for establishing a child’s opinion of his mother or father? The other parent, that’s who! Each wields tremendous influence over what the children think of the other. Early in my marriage to Shirley, I learned that occasional irritation between us quickly reflected itself in the behavior of our kids. They seemed to think, If Dad can argue with Mom, then we can, too. In short, my attitude became the attitudes of my children. I realized how important it was to openly express love and admiration for my wife, even when there were issues that we needed to iron out in private.

If you’re the father in the home, I encourage you to remind your kids how hard their mother works and how wonderful she is. And if you’re the mother, praise your husband’s courage and principles in front of the children. Kids will quickly recognize and mirror the respect fathers and mothers give each other. Showing honor now will pay off for years to come.

Just between us…
  • How did your parents show respect to each other?
  • Have we done a good job of honoring each other, and the Lord, in front of our children? In which situations are we most likely to fail?
  • How could we improve?
  • Do we know a couple that sets a good example in this area? What do they do that seems to really work?
Almighty God, we want to be good examples of honoring each other so that our children will grow up to honor their father and mother. We ask for Your wisdom and grace as we seek to excel in honoring one another in our home. Thank You for Your love. 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 22, 2016

Esther 7:1-10
So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, "What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled." Then Queen Esther answered, "If I have won your favor, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me-- that is my petition-- and the lives of my people-- that is my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; but no enemy can compensate for this damage to the king." Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, "Who is he, and where is he, who has presumed to do this?" Esther said, "A foe and enemy, this wicked Haman!" Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen. The king rose from the feast in wrath and went into the palace garden, but Haman stayed to beg his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that the king had determined to destroy him. When the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman had thrown himself on the couch where Esther was reclining; and the king said, "Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?" As the words left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman's face. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, "Look, the very gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, stands at Haman's house, fifty cubits high." And the king said, "Hang him on that." So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the anger of the king abated.

Acts 19:11-20
God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that when the handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, their diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims." Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit said to them in reply, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?" Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered them all, and so overpowered them that they fled out of the house naked and wounded. When this became known to all residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks, everyone was awestruck; and the name of the Lord Jesus was praised. Also many of those who became believers confessed and disclosed their practices. A number of those who practiced magic collected their books and burned them publicly; when the value of these books was calculated, it was found to come to fifty thousand silver coins. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

Luke 4:14-30
Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, "Is not this Joseph's son?" He said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 'Doctor, cure yourself!' And you will say, 'Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.'" And he said, "Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet's hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian." When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 146 Lauda, anima mea
1   Hallelujah! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
2   Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, for there is no help in them.
3   When they breathe their last, they return to earth, and in that day their thoughts perish.
4   Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! whose hope is in the LORD their God;
5   Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; who keeps his promise for ever;
6   Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, and food to those who hunger.
7   The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind; the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
8   The LORD loves the righteous; the LORD cares for the stranger; he sustains the orphan and widow, but frustrates the way of the wicked.
9   The LORD shall reign for ever, your God, O Zion, throughout all generations. Hallelujah!

Psalm 147 Laudate Dominum
1   Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praises to our God! how pleasant it is to honor him with praise!
2   The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel.
3   He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
4   He counts the number of the stars and calls them all by their names.
5   Great is our LORD and mighty in power; there is no limit to his wisdom.
6   The LORD lifts up the lowly, but casts the wicked to the ground.
7   Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God upon the harp.
8   He covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth;
9   He makes grass to grow upon the mountains and green plants to serve mankind.
10   He provides food for flocks and herds and for the young ravens when they cry.
11   He is not impressed by the might of a horse; he has no pleasure in the strength of a man;
12   But the LORD has pleasure in those who fear him, in those who await his gracious favor.
13   Worship the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion;
14   For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you.
15   He has established peace on your borders; he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
16   He sends out his command to the earth, and his word runs very swiftly.
17   He gives snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
18   He scatters his hail like bread crumbs; who can stand against his cold?
19   He sends forth his word and melts them; he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.
20   He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and his judgments to Israel.
21   He has not done so to any other nation; to them he has not revealed his judgments. Hallelujah!

Evening Psalms

Psalm 85 Benedixisti, Domine
1   You have been gracious to your land, O LORD, you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
2   You have forgiven the iniquity of your people and blotted out all their sins.
3   You have withdrawn all your fury and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.
4   Restore us then, O God our Savior; let your anger depart from us.
5   Will you be displeased with us for ever? will you prolong your anger from age to age?
6   Will you not give us life again, that your people may rejoice in you?
7   Show us your mercy, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.
8   I will listen to what the LORD God is saying, for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.
9   Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
10   Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11   Truth shall spring up from the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12   The LORD will indeed grant prosperity, and our land will yield its increase.
13   Righteousness shall go before him, and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

Psalm 86 Inclina, Domine
1   Bow down your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and in misery.
2   Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful; save your servant who puts his trust in you.
3   Be merciful to me, O LORD, for you are my God; I call upon you all the day long.
4   Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
5   For you, O LORD, are good and forgiving, and great is your love toward all who call upon you.
6   Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer, and attend to the voice of my supplications.
7   In the time of my trouble I will call upon you, for you will answer me.
8   Among the gods there is none like you, O LORD, nor anything like your works.
9   All the nations you have made will come and worship you, O LORD, and glorify your Name.
10   For you are great; you do wondrous things; and you alone are God.
11   Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; knit my heart to you that I may fear your Name.
12   I will thank you, O LORD my God, with all my heart, and glorify your Name for evermore.
13   For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the nethermost Pit.
14   The arrogant rise up against me, O God, and a band of violent men seeks my life; they have not set you before their eyes.
15   But you, O LORD, are gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and full of kindness and truth.
16   Turn to me and have mercy upon me; give your strength to your servant; and save the child of your handmaid.
17   Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed; because you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

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 22, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Jonathan Melton

Luke 4:18-19 (NRSV) [Jesus said,]“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim…the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Jesus takes a passage from Isaiah as the text for his first public sermon. The hook, like all good hooks, comes at the end, when he adds, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

“The year of the Lord’s favor” is more than a beautiful rhetorical phrase; it is a technical term referring to the year of Jubilee. The Jubilee was the year in Hebrew scripture, after seven sets of seven years, in which debts were forgiven, slaves returned, and property rights reset. Permeable property rights! This was a radical idea, and one that scholars aren’t sure Israel practiced in any regularized way. Jesus self-identifies with this unusual celebration, reminding us that he is the perpetual, embodied Jubilee.

For Jesus, cancelling debt (forgiveness) is physical, material, and generous. When has extending or receiving the forgiveness of Jesus left you different than you otherwise would have been?

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

Standing Strong Through the Storm - SIMPLICITY OF THE CHURCH

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:22-23

Rene looked carefully both ways as he turned the corner. No one seemed to be watching. Wiping the perspiration from his forehead he glanced at his watch. He was five minutes early. He walked slowly around the block a second time to arrive at the large gate at exactly 7:14. He pressed the bell three times: short...long...short. It was the newly changed code to indicate he was a fellow-believer. The gate opened and closed quickly as Rene slipped inside. In two hours time there were several hundred believers gathered secretly in the basement for fellowship.

Rene sat quietly waiting for the others. He remembered reading in a magazine about a small group in China that gathered weekly in the back room of a small store to worship together. It was the era of the infamous Cultural Revolution. Since the believers could easily be overheard by anyone entering the store, they “sang” hymns together without words or music. Someone whispered the name of the song and they would silently move their lips and simply think of the words and music.

He chuckled out loud. The memory came of Pastor Wally saying, “We are an underground church like the believers behind the Bamboo Curtain, but the difference is that we can praise in full voice because the facilities are sound proofed. Not even our closest neighbour can hear us.”

This is a description of a church group in Saudi Arabia - a country that has not had an official church in over fourteen hundred years. And yet many believers meet together secretly and at great risk all over the country.

The most common way for the church to express its faith in western societies has been through the institutional pattern. Consequently, this is the only pattern with which many Christians are familiar. But this form can be easily eliminated by a repressive government, is difficult to maintain in other hostile environments, and may not be appropriate to local cultural needs. There are other options if you and your fellow believers were under the rule of those who were trying to repress Christianity.

RESPONSE: Today I will accept that there are many forms of church to fulfill the five biblical functions of the church.

PRAYER: Pray for those around the world who must meet in secret for worship services.

Girlfriends in God - Blessings In the Pool

Today’s Truth

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed (Proverbs 11:25, The Message).

Friend to Friend

It all started with a swimsuit. I had to buy one. Dan and I were joining our kids and grandkids for a week of family vacation in Charleston, South Carolina. The beach, a swimming pool, and water parks were on the agenda, and I wanted to do them all!

Ladies, I know you can understand my feelings of terror at the thought of having to find a swimsuit that actually fits and looks good on me. I had two days before we left, and both of those days were crammed full – appointments, meetings, and writing deadlines stared me in the face.

I prayed. Yes. I. Did. I asked God to help me find the right swimsuit. It had to be modest, it had to look good on me, and it had to be cheap!

On my way home from a doctor’s appointment, I passed one of my favorite stores. I only go in this store when they are having a huge sale and when I have a coupon. I saw the bright red “Clearance” signs in the store window and knew I had a great coupon in my purse. Yes!

I had exactly 25 minutes to get in the store … find a swimsuit … and get out in order to make it to my next meeting on time.

When I walked in, I saw a very small rack of swimsuits in the back corner of the store. I asked the sales lady if those were the only swimsuits they had. “I’m afraid it is,” she said. “Our big sale was last week, but take a look. You never know what you might find.”

With the faith of a mustard seed, I headed for that rack. And then I saw it - a gorgeous black swimsuit. It was modest, beautifully made, and it was my size. I held my breath and looked at the price tag. Oh. My. Word. It had been marked down 60% and I had a coupon for another 20% off. When I tried it on, I did a happy dance in the dressing room, thanking God for leading me straight to that suit.

But that is not the whole story.

When we got to Charleston, the grandkids wanted to swim. I put on my new suit and humbly accepted the compliments of my husband, children, and grandkids as we headed to the pool.

Two older women were in the pool, lazily exercising and talking. When they saw us, they smiled and waved. Then one of the women said, “I love your suit! You look so cute in it!” Made. My. Day.

Our grandkids demonstrated all of their aquatic accomplishments as Dan and I applauded and praised them. One of the ladies said, “Your grandchildren are beautiful! I know you must be so proud of them.” At that moment, the invisible “Dump Here” sign that seems to be on my forehead started flashing, and I sensed God’s hand at work. My husband and daughter did too as they slowly moved the kids to the opposite end of the pool.

For an hour, Julia and Shirley shared their hearts and their lives with me - the loss of a husband – the long-term affects of a nearly fatal car wreck – how they found God. I shared my journey as well. When I told them I was going to be speaking in Birch Run, Michigan, Julia gasped. “I live close to Birch Run. I’m coming to that conference. I’m just here visiting Shirley.” When it was time for me to go, the three of us joined hands in that pool and prayed for each other. Oh, how I love the way God orders my steps.

When I walked in the door of the condo and shared what had happened, our daughter Danna said, “And just think, Mom. What if you had not bought that suit? You would have missed those two women.”

Yes. I would have missed the blessings in the pool.

Don’t underestimate God.

There is nothing ordinary about your day.

There are people God places in your path for an eternal reason. The sales clerk where you shop needs to see God’s love in your smile. The unplanned stop where you run into a friend who needs encouragement is really an opportunity sent by God. You get your mail and see your neighbor in her front yard. Does she need to know that you care … so she can know God cares?

Wake each day with a “yes” in your heart. Then start looking.

Look for God in your circumstances … in the people you meet … in the unwelcome intrusion of a neighbor … in the infuriating behavior of a co-worker or the exasperating antics of your teenager. Look for the opportunity to show them God, and don’t miss the blessings.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You today with a “yes” in my heart. Whatever You want me to do, I will do. Whatever You want me to say, I will say. Wherever You want me to go, I will go. Thank You for Your love and for the plan You have for my life. I surrender, Lord. I don’t want to miss the chance to bless others or Your blessings in my life.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn
Right now, empty your heart of everything except a “yes” for whatever God has in store for you today. Surrender your agenda. Look for God’s handprints in your life. At the end of the day, record the ways God used you in the lives of others. List the blessings you received because you were willing to say “yes.”

More from the Girlfriends
NEW BOOK from Mary Southerland! Mary has updated the E-Book, Fit for Life, and released it in a soft cover book. Fit for Life addresses the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual areas of your life and teaches you principles that will empower you to bring each area under God’s control.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

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

Un Dia a la Vez - Espera tu bendición

La bendición de Jehová es la que enriquece, y no añade tristeza con ella. (Proverbios 10:22, rv-60)

Cada día que pasa puedo ser testigo de cómo mi amado Dios tiene muchas bendiciones separadas para nosotros. Lo que sucede es que a menudo colocamos nuestras expectativas y sueños en otras personas que quizá no nos ayuden a llevarlos a cabo. No se trata de que sean malas personas, sino que no son el canal de bendición que Él tiene para nosotros.

¿Cuántas veces te han ilusionado, te han prometido ayuda, y a la hora de la verdad nada de nada? Es verdad que se siente frustración y que hasta decimos: «No vuelvo a confiar en nadie».

Hay cosas que tú y yo debemos tener como una fórmula de vida y es que debemos aprender a identificar las cosas que vienen de parte de Dios, así como las personas que son canal de bendición.

Siempre debemos pedirle al Señor que nos guíe y nos muestre las cosas con claridad, a fin de que no nos confundan y, mucho menos, que nos engañen.

Es preferible que esperes tu bendición y saber que viene con la aprobación del cielo.

Our Daily Bread - The Gates of Worship

By Marvin Williams 

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. (Psalm 100:4)

When you enter some of the greatest cities in the world, you can encounter famous gates such as the Brandenburg Gate (Berlin), the Jaffa Gate (Jerusalem), and the gates at Downing Street (London). Whether the gates were built for defensive or ceremonial purposes, they all represent the difference between being outside or inside certain areas of the city. Some are open; some are closed to all but a few.

The gates into the presence of God are always open. The familiar song of Psalm 100 is an invitation for the Israelites to enter into the presence of God through the temple gates. They were told to “shout for joy” and “come before him with joyful songs” (vv. 1–2). Shouting for joy was an appropriate expression when greeting a monarch in the ancient world. All the earth was to sing joyfully about God! The reason for this joyful noise was that God had given them their identity (v. 3). They entered the gates with praise and thanksgiving because of God’s goodness and His steadfast and enduring love which continues through all generations (vv. 4–5). Even when they forgot their identity and wandered away from Him, God remained faithful and still invited them to enter His presence.

The gates into God’s presence are still open, inviting us to come and worship.

What should motivate us to worship God? What statement of praise could you give to God today?

The gates into the presence of God are always open.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Unser Täglich Brot - Pforten der Anbetung

Lesen: Psalm 100 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Prediger 10–12;; Galater 1

Von Marvin William

Gehet zu seinen Toren ein mit Danken, zu seinen Vorhöfen mit Loben; danket ihm, lobet seinen Namen. (Psalm 100,4)

Wenn man im Internet einige der größten Städte dieser Welt eingibt, findet man dort auch so berühmte Tore wie das Brandenburger Tor in Berlin, das Jaffa-Tor in Jerusalem oder die Tore von Downing Street in London. Ob sie zur Verteidigung oder aus Repräsentationszwecken gebaut wurden, sie alle markieren den Unterschied zwischen einem Außen und Innen bestimmter Stadtbezirke. Manche Tore sind offen; andere sind nur wenigen geöffnet.

Die Tore zu Gottes Gegenwart stehen immer offen. Das bekannte Lied aus Psalm 100 ist eine Einladung an die Israeliten, durch die Tempeltore in Gottes Gegenwart zu treten. Sie sollten dabei „jauchzen“ und „mit Freuden“ frohlocken (V.1-2). Mit Jauchzen und Frohlocken wurde im Altertum ein einziehender Herrscher begrüßt. Alle Welt sollte sich über Gott freuen! Grund für diese Freude war, dass Gott dem Volk eine Identität gegeben hatte (V.3). Sie zogen mit Danken und Loben ein, weil Gott freundlich ist und seine Güte und Gnade alle Generationen überdauert (V.4-5). Auch als sie vergaßen, wer sie eigentlich waren, und sich von Gott abwandten, blieb Gott ihnen treu und lud sie ein, in seine Gegenwart zu kommen.

Die Tore zu Gott stehen immer noch offen und laden uns ein, zu ihm zu kommen und ihn anzubeten.
Was sollte uns zur Anbetung motivieren? Womit könntest du Gott heute loben?
Die Tore zu Gott stehen immer offen.

Хлеб наш насущный - Врата поклонения

Читать сейчас: Псалом 99 | Библия за год: Екклесиаст 10-12; 1 Коринфянам 12

автор: Марвин Уильямс

Входите во врата Его со славословием, во дворы Его – с хвалой. Славьте Его, благословляйте имя Его. Псалом 99:4

Посетив некоторые города мира, вы можете увидеть знаменитые ворота, например Бранденбургские в Берлине или Яффские в Иерусалиме, а также ворота на Даунинг-стрит в Лондоне. Построены ли эти ворота для защиты или для проведения церемоний, все они подчеркивают разницу между нахождением внутри и снаружи определенных частей города. Некоторые из них всегда открыты, другие открывают лишь по особым случаям.

Врата в Божье присутствие всегда открыты. Псалом 99 – это приглашение прийти к Богу через храмовые врата. Слушателей призывают воскликнуть Господу и предстать перед Его лицо с весельем (Пс. 99:1-2). Радостные восклицания народа в древнем мире выражали приветствие царю. Всей земле надлежало радостно петь Богу. Причина этого радостного шума заключалась в том, что Господь избрал Себе Израиль в особый народ (Пс. 99:3). Люди входили в святые врата с хвалой, славя Божью благость и неизменную милость, которая продолжалась из рода в род. Даже когда они об этом забывали и уходили от Создателя, Бог оставался верен и призывал их вернуться.

Врата в Божье присутствие открыты и сейчас. Придем и поклонимся.

Что должно побуждать нас поклоняться Богу? Какими словами вы можете Его восхвалять?

Врата в Божье присутствие всегда открыты.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Les portes de l’adoration

Lisez : Psaume 100 | La Bible en un an : Écclésiaste 10 – 12 et Galates 1

par Marvin Williams

Entrez dans ses portes avec des louanges, dans ses parvis avec des cantiques ! Célébrez‑le, bénissez son nom ! (Psaumes 100:4)

En entrant dans certaines des plus grandes villes du monde, on peut trouver de célèbres portes comme la Brandebourg (Berlin), la Jaffa (Jérusalem) et les Downing Street (Londres). Or, que ces portes aient été construites dans un but défensif ou cérémoniel, elles représentent toutes la différence entre se trouver dans ou hors de certains quartiers. Certaines sont ouvertes ; d’autres sont fermées à tous, sauf à quelques personnes.
Les portes donnant sur la présence de Dieu sont toujours ouvertes. Le cantique bien connu du Psaume 100 est d’ailleurs une invitation aux Israélites à entrer dans cette présence par les portes du Temple. On leur disait : « Poussez vers l’Éternel des cris de joie » et : « [Venez] avec allégresse en sa présence » (V. 1,2). Dans l’Antiquité, c’était la coutume d’acclamer un monarque par des cris de joie. À plus forte raison, la terre entière devrait‑elle chanter joyeusement à la gloire de Dieu, puisqu’il en est le Roi des rois (V. 3). Les Israélites entraient donc dans ses portes avec des louanges et des actions de grâces envers la bonté de Dieu, ainsi que sa fidélité et son amour éternel qui se perpétuent de génération en génération (V. 4,5). Même lorsqu’ils oubliaient leur identité de peuple de Dieu et s’égaraient loin de lui, Dieu leur demeurait fidèle et continuait de les inviter à entrer en sa présence.

Les portes donnant sur la présence de Dieu nous sont encore ouvertes, nous invitant à venir à lui pour l’adorer.

Les portes donnant sur la présence de Dieu sont toujours ouvertes.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ