Friday, September 23, 2016

Commentary: Jesus and Allah

by
Jesus spoke Aramaic. And the word for ‘God’ in his language is ‘Allah’.

We have an ancient version of the Bible, the Peshitta, written in an Eastern Aramaic dialect. To be clear, I cannot read these texts and so am reliant on the scholarship of others.

The connections between words for ‘God’ are clear. The Proto-Semitic stem for “God” is *ʼil-(āh)-. Eloi (Mark 15:34) is, then, connected to the Aramaic, “Alaha”, and to the Arabic, “Allah”. And clearly related to the Hebrew word for God, Elohim.

“Allahu Akbar”, then, is not particularly Islamic – it is simply “God is great” in Arabic, and used by Christians who use Arabic in their worship.

Archbishop Sebastia Theodosios is the only Orthodox Christian archbishop from Palestine stationed in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. He responded to the question: “To a Western mind, Allahu Akbar sounds like a threat. What do Christians of the Holy Land think about them?”

We Christians also say Allahu Akbar. This is an expression of our understanding that the Creator is great. We don’t want this phrase to be related to terrorism and crimes.

We refuse to associate these words with massacres and murders.

We speak against using this phrase in this context. Those who do, they insult our religion and our religious values.

Those using these words while taking some unreligious, unspiritual, uncivilized actions are harming the religion.

Allahu Akbar is an expression of our faith.

One must not use these words for non-religion-related purposes in order to justify violence and terror.

To the question: “Do people say Allahu Akbar in church?” Archbishop Sebastia Theodosios replies:

Of course.

For us, Allah is not an Islamic term. This is a word used in Arabic to indicate the Creator who’s made the world we are living in. So when we say Allah in our prayers we mean the Creator of this world.

In our prayers and pleas, in our Orthodox Christian religious ceremonies we use exactly this word. We say, glory be to Allah in all times. We say Allah a lot during our liturgy. It’s erroneous to think that the word Allah is only used by Muslims.

We the Arab Christians say Allah in our Arabic language as a way to identify and address the Creator in our prayers.

I have experienced this in Arabic-speaking Christian services. But I also experienced this in Christian services in Indonesia. The Bahasa Indonesia for ‘God’ is ‘Allah’.

Copyright © 2016 Liturgy

Night Light for Couples - A King and His Queen

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.

“Those who honor me I will honor.” 1 Samuel 2:30

I can’t think of a better example of honor between husband and wife than the biblical account of Queen Esther and Xerxes, king of Persia, in the book of Esther. The young queen was faced with a terrible dilemma: Her people, the Jews, were to be killed as part of a ruthless plot concocted by one of the king’s most powerful nobles. Yet by law, no one, not even the queen, was allowed to approach the king without being summoned.

Esther relied on the principle of honor to protect her in this predicament. After fasting and, I’m sure, praying for three days, she went to the inner court of the palace. Rather than barging in, she waited patiently in the king’s hall. When the king saw Esther, he invited her in. She showed further respect for Xerxes by touching his scepter when she arrived. When the king asked her why she had come, Esther did not answer immediately. Instead, she invited the king to a banquet she had prepared, thus paying further tribute to her husband. At the banquet, she invited the king to yet another banquet the next day. Only then did she finally make her request known.

Every time Esther addressed her husband, she conveyed sincere respect. She used phrases such as “if it pleases the king”; “if [the king] regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do”; and “if I have found favor with you, O king.” Xerxes responded by honoring his wife—and granting her request! Through her courage and conduct, the Jews were spared a holocaust. In fact, King Xerxes went further: The evil noble was hanged, and the Jews were given new privileges and rights in the kingdom.

Our nature as humans is to criticize our spouse or complain about his or her shortcomings. Yet there is something attractive—and very compelling—about approaching each other as husband or wife with the deep respect and honor we would show royalty. I urge you to try approaching each other in just this way—even when you do not feel particularly close. Your reward will be a home environment that is more loving, positive, and enjoyable than you ever thought possible.

- 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 23, 2016


Esther 8:1-8, 8:15-17
On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews; and Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. Then the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. So Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman. Then Esther spoke again to the king; she fell at his feet, weeping and pleading with him to avert the evil design of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. The king held out the golden scepter to Esther, and Esther rose and stood before the king. She said, "If it pleases the king, and if I have won his favor, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I have his approval, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote giving orders to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming on my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?" Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to the Jew Mordecai, "See, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he plotted to lay hands on the Jews. You may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king's ring; for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked." Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king, wearing royal robes of blue and white, with a great golden crown and a mantle of fine linen and purple, while the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. For the Jews there was light and gladness, joy and honor. In every province and in every city, wherever the king's command and his edict came, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a festival and a holiday. Furthermore, many of the peoples of the country professed to be Jews, because the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.

Acts 19:21-41
Now after these things had been accomplished, Paul resolved in the Spirit to go through Macedonia and Achaia, and then to go on to Jerusalem. He said, "After I have gone there, I must also see Rome." So he sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he himself stayed for some time longer in Asia. About that time no little disturbance broke out concerning the Way. A man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the artisans. These he gathered together, with the workers of the same trade, and said, "Men, you know that we get our wealth from this business. You also see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost the whole of Asia this Paul has persuaded and drawn away a considerable number of people by saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be scorned, and she will be deprived of her majesty that brought all Asia and the world to worship her." When they heard this, they were enraged and shouted, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" The city was filled with the confusion; and people rushed together to the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's travel companions. Paul wished to go into the crowd, but the disciples would not let him; even some officials of the province of Asia, who were friendly to him, sent him a message urging him not to venture into the theater. Meanwhile, some were shouting one thing, some another; for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. Some of the crowd gave instructions to Alexander, whom the Jews had pushed forward. And Alexander motioned for silence and tried to make a defense before the people. But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours all of them shouted in unison, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" But when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, "Citizens of Ephesus, who is there that does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the temple keeper of the great Artemis and of the statue that fell from heaven? Since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash. You have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess. If therefore Demetrius and the artisans with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls; let them bring charges there against one another. If there is anything further you want to know, it must be settled in the regular assembly. For we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion." When he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.

Luke 4:31-37
He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, "Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, "What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!" And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 88 Domine, Deus
1   O LORD, my God, my Savior, by day and night I cry to you.
2   Let my prayer enter into your presence; incline your ear to my lamentation.
3   For I am full of trouble; my life is at the brink of the grave.
4   I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I have become like one who has no strength;
5   Lost among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave,
6   Whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.
7   You have laid me in the depths of the Pit, in dark places, and in the abyss.
8   Your anger weighs upon me heavily, and all your great waves overwhelm me.
9   You have put my friends far from me; you have made me to be abhorred by them; I am in prison and cannot get free.
10   My sight has failed me because of trouble; LORD, I have called upon you daily; I have stretched out my hands to you.
11   Do you work wonders for the dead? will those who have died stand up and give you thanks?
12   Will your loving-kindness be declared in the grave? your faithfulness in the land of destruction?
13   Will your wonders be known in the dark? or your righteousness in the country where all is forgotten?
14   But as for me, O LORD, I cry to you for help; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
15   LORD, why have you rejected me? why have you hidden your face from me?
16   Ever since my youth, I have been wretched and at the point of death; I have borne your terrors with a troubled mind.
17   Your blazing anger has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me;
18   They surround me all day long like a flood; they encompass me on every side.
19   My friend and my neighbor you have put away from me, and darkness is my only companion.


Evening Psalms

Psalm 91 Qui habitat
1   He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, abides under the shadow of the Almighty.
2   He shall say to the LORD, "You are my refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I put my trust."
3   He shall deliver you from the snare of the hunter and from the deadly pestilence.
4   He shall cover you with his pinions, and you shall find refuge under his wings; his faithfulness shall be a shield and buckler.
5   You shall not be afraid of any terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day;
6   Of the plague that stalks in the darkness, nor of the sickness that lays waste at mid-day.
7   A thousand shall fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.
8   Your eyes have only to behold to see the reward of the wicked.
9   Because you have made the LORD your refuge, and the Most High your habitation,
10   There shall no evil happen to you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.
11   For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.
12   They shall bear you in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13   You shall tread upon the lion and the adder; you shall trample the young lion and the serpent under your feet.
14   Because he is bound to me in love, therefore will I deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my Name.
15   He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I am with him in trouble; I will rescue him and bring him to honor.
16   With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.


Psalm 92 Bonum est confiteri
1   It is a good thing to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to your Name, O Most High;
2   To tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning and of your faithfulness in the night season;
3   On the psaltery, and on the lyre, and to the melody of the harp.
4   For you have made me glad by your acts, O LORD; and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.
5   LORD, how great are your works! your thoughts are very deep.
6   The dullard does not know, nor does the fool understand, that though the wicked grow like weeds, and all the workers of iniquity flourish,
7   They flourish only to be destroyed for ever; but you, O LORD, are exalted for evermore.
8   For lo, your enemies, O LORD, lo, your enemies shall perish, and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
9   But my horn you have exalted like the horns of wild bulls; I am anointed with fresh oil.
10   My eyes also gloat over my enemies, and my ears rejoice to hear the doom of the wicked who rise up against me.
11   The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon.
12   Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God;
13   They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be green and succulent;
14   That they may show how upright the LORD is, my Rock, in whom there is no fault.


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 23, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Jonathan Melton

Psalm 92:11-12 (NRSV) The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Psalm 92 returns to the image with which Psalm 1 begins: a tree that flourishes. A mentor reminds me that flourishing is the standard for life in the kingdom: not surviving, but flourishing; not merely existing, but growing in healthy, vigorous ways.

To move toward this type of flourishing, my mentor suggests that Christians seek to engage the life of faith on local, national, and international levels. To forfeit any of these, she says, is to settle for less than the flourishing for which we are made.

Jesus affirms flourishing as a standard for his disciples with his promise of abundant life. Moreover, Jesus clarifies the character of those who participate in the abundant life he comes to give: Those who lay down their lives for others do not think of themselves as demeaned or diminished. We flourish. We are rooted in and bear the fruit of Christ’s love.

Such character comes as a gift to those who are planted in the abundance of the crucified and risen Christ. May we sing his praise with gladness and not fear to follow in his footsteps.

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 - John the Baptist


His name may mean: "Yahweh Has Been Gracious"

His work: He was the forerunner of Jesus, called to live in the spirit and power of Elijah. John prepared the way by preaching the need for repentance.
His character: John was completely focused on his assignment, unaffected by anything other than his message. And he wasn't willing to take on this duty without plenty of preparation.
His sorrow: A prophet's greatest joy is in preaching. But John spent the final days of his life in prison, unable to do what God had called and gifted him to do.
His triumph: God chose John to baptize his Son. No greater honor has ever been given a man.
Key Scriptures: Luke 1:5-25; 3:1-20

A Look at the Man

People in Israel were expecting the Messiah. The prophet Malachi had spoken of a redeemer, saying, "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes" this long-awaited day of the Lord had melted into years, decades, centuries. Generations had come and gone, and still there was silence. God's voice was not heard.

But then came John with the clear-cut assignment pronounced centuries earlier by the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord; make straight paths for him.'" John's voice was so strong and so persistent that it was heard even in the king's palace. When Herod learned that John had pronounced judgment on his illegal and immoral marriage to his brother's wife, he threw the prophet in prison.

While imprisoned, John felt the need of reassurance about the one whose way he was preparing. Had he, like so many others, secretly hoped the Messiah would be like other great kings, using military force to overthrow his adversaries? But Jesus had assembled no armies. Perhaps, he may have thought, Jesus would use political force. But civil reform would never prove to be part of Jesus' agenda.

When John's emissaries questioned Jesus, they found him at work, curing diseases, giving sight to the blind, delivering those who were possessed by evil spirits. Jesus merely replied to their questions with the command: "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard."

Imagine how John must have been pleased with this message. This is not what I expected in the Messiah, he may have thought. But Jesus must be from God. No one could do these things unless he was the one we have waited for.

A short time later, John was beheaded by Herod. By his life and by his death he prepared the way of the Lord, whose kingdom was not of this earth. Jesus said of John: "I tell you the truth. Among those born of a woman there has not risen anyone greater than John."

John said of Jesus, "One more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.... He must become greater; I must become less." A perfect summary of what it means to prepare the way of the Lord.

Reflect On: Luke 3:7–14
Praise God: For his faithfulness.
Offer Thanks: For God’s plan of salvation, for the obedience of John the Baptist, and for sending his Son.
Confess: Your fear of boldness in speaking the truth and in telling of your love for God and your faith in him.
Ask God: For opportunities to tell others of his mercy and for courage to speak.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE FORMS OF THE CHURCH


Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. Acts 5:42

The place in which a church meets varies. The use of big buildings, complex organizations, involved programs, huge budgets that provide for schools, hospitals, orphanages and other social activities are only possible in financially strong unrestricted societies.

Although the Lord has blessed these activities in many places in the world, we must recognize that they are not essential to the existence of the church. In some countries these activities are forbidden by the government, while in others, the local economic situation makes them impossible. Still the church can thrive, because it is not dependent on these things. Serious problems have arisen when Christians have become confused on this point.

A number of years ago, for example, some Vietnamese leaders thought that their lack of funds for such things was the cause of the slow growth of Christianity there. On one occasion, the following conversation was overheard:

"Do you have communists in your part of the country?" the observer asked. "Most assuredly. They are there," the leader replied.

“Are they growing in numbers and influence?" he then asked. The leader hesitated momentarily, then admitted sadly, “Yes, they are growing very fast."

“Can you show me their meeting places and schools or introduce me to their leaders?" the observer continued. "Certainly not," the leader said in disgust. "If they are known, they will be arrested."

"You mean they are secret, without buildings or property and still they grow in number?" the observer asked in amazement. "Yes, you could say that," the leader responded.

"Then it must be that their growing influence does not depend on such things. If they can be wrong in their beliefs and still grow without money and buildings, why do you think the church of Jesus Christ needs these things?" the man concluded.

If God provides these things, then use them for His glory. If He does not, remember that the New Testament church had none of these things, but they turned their world upside down (Acts 17:6). The early Christians did not confuse the church’s functions with methods. If they had done so, the church would have died in the bondage of Jewish legalism. The early churches were not encumbered by the presence of buildings, nor hindered by the lack of them. They met in public places, when they were permitted to do so, but when they were not, they went from house to house.

RESPONSE: I will no longer confuse the forms of the church with the biblical functions of the church.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for those who use their homes as centers for Your worship and declaration of the good news of Your love.

Girlfriends in God - Finding God in the Dry of Your Drought

 
Today’s Truth

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23, NIV)

Friend to Friend

Now, the Old Testament prophet Elijah is a guy I can relate to. God asked him to do and say some difficult things. He also got an all-access pass to the God-Is-Awesome show as he experienced epic miracles at the hand of the Almighty. Even so, at one point he became gripped by fear and tried to run away from his problems. He knew exhaustion and sank into a pit of depression that darkened his hope. He felt alone, yet was provided for when God sent angels to care for his every need. At times Elijah found God in grandiose shouts and flames, but also heard from Him in a humble whisper. And through all his highs and lows, he loved and served God. Yes. I can relate to this guy. He’s my kind of people.

The story of Elijah begins in 1 King 17 when God sent the prophet to give a bold message to King Ahab, the reigning King of Israel who had been doing evil in the eyes of the Lord.

“Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.’” (1 Kings 17:1)

Then, at the prompting of the Lord, Elijah went into hiding – first in the Kerith Ravine.

At the ravine, just east of the Jordan, God miraculously made sure His prophet had water from a brook and food from ravens. How crazy is that? Birds brought dinner to the man every night. Birds! Love it. God is Jehovah Jireh, our Provider.

I think it’s important to point out here that even Elijah, God’s faithful servant and great prophet, had to endure the drought. He was provided for, but not kept from the strain and struggle just because he was living for God. Deep thirst, hard times, and hunger impacted Elijah’s days just like those of the rebellious Israelites. Just like yours and mine. Jesus spoke of this reality in Matthew 5:45 when He said that God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." 

Droughts and difficulties are a reality for all of us. 

Turning again to the story, we see that back at the palace King Ahab was furious about the drought. So much so, that he searched high and low for Elijah. (1 Kings 18:10) But in spite of Ahab’s efforts, God kept Elijah hidden for about three years and used a drought to wring dry the rebellious nation of Israel in order to get their attention so they would turn back to Him.

After the brook dried up at the Kerith Ravine due to lack of rain, the Lord sent Elijah to the home of a God-fearing single mom… a widow in Zarephath of Sidon. Circumstances were bleak in the land. Crops had dried up and food was extremely scarce. Yet, in spite of the desperate times, God had a fresh and fruitful mission for Elijah.

The Lord didn’t simply want Elijah to survive the drought, He wanted him to serve and trust Him in the arid, arduous trenches of it. God used the drought to lead Elijah to new places of ministry – places that brought hope and life to others – places where he had to walk with fresh faith in the unfamiliar.

Holy Father, help me get this and expect this!

Elijah experienced provision, protection, intervention, and direction from God. Day after day, miracle after miracle, hard times came but the Lord was with him in and through it all. Just like He is for you and me.

As I consider this my mind scrolls through a few fingerprints of God’s faithfulness and provision in my own life…

He protected me back in high school when I wrecked my parent’s car.

He was with us when my son fractured his skull and broke his jaw in three places ... during the seven-hour reconstructive surgery, and the six-week wired-shut-healing.

He was our provision year after year through the strains of job loss, job changes, health challenges, and cross-country moves.

God is faithful, faithful, faithful.

Are you or a loved one in a season of drought? As you cry out to Jesus, expect to experience God’s grace, provision, and peace even in the times you face challenges that you were not wanting or expecting. And trust that when the dry of your drought is fierce, God is inviting you to serve and trust Him in the arid, arduous trenches of it. You are not alone, friend. 

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank You for being my protector, my help, and my refuge. When times are desperate, I know that I can trust You to provide the wisdom, provision, comfort, and grace I need to endure.
In Jesus’s Name I pray,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Has God ever given you a fresh and fruitful mission in the middle of a drought? What did that look like? Would you have had the opportunity to impact others had it not been for the drought? Why or why not?

Feel like today’s devotion was written just for you? It was. God made sure you read it and I’d sure love to pray with you. Click here to join me on my blog wall for a time of PRAYER today. 

More from the Girlfriends

The Bible tells us that God is able to do above and beyond what we can ask or imagine. So why do we rarely pause to dream big dreams, think big thoughts, or expect God to do great things through us? Gwen Smith’s new book, I Want It ALL, will ignite a fire in your heart to experience more faith, more power, and more impact. More of Jesus. All of Jesus. Everything that God has for you. Order yours today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook.com or your favorite retailer.

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Evangelio Viviente - ¿Cuánto vales?

Lee 1 Pedro 2.8-10

Tú y yo hemos luchado contra sentimientos de incompetencia. La percepción de la incompetencia personal persiste debido a que tenemos inadecuada comprensión del papel que Dios debe jugar en nuestra vida.

La valoración de una persona puede compararse con el valor del dinero. Piensa por un momento que tienes un billete de un dólar que está gastado, roto y defectuoso. El hecho de que ya no sea nuevo no disminuye su valor. No importa cómo luzca, su valor permanece sin cambio simplemente porque lo estableció quien lo hizo; es decir, el gobierno de los Estados Unidos. Siempre valdrá un dólar y se le puede usar para comprar cualquier cosa que puede adquirirse normalmente con un dólar.

Un cliente en un establecimiento se molestaría mucho si presentara un billete de cien dólares desgastado por sus artículos o servicio y el comerciante respondiera: «Lo lamento, sólo lo puedo tomar a un valor de cincuenta dólares porque su billete está rasgado y roto». El cliente llegaría a la conclusión de que el comerciante está loco.

Hay algo en cada billete que lo diferencia de cualquier otro: Su número de serie. Ningún otro billete tiene ese número. Dios estableció tu valor cuando te creó. Él nos hizo a cada uno único. Lo honras cuando aceptas tu singularidad. Además, así como el gobierno crea billetes con diversas denominaciones, Dios nos creó con la variedad que necesitamos para cumplir el propósito designado para cada uno.

Tú tienes un valor único y un destino diferente. Antes de que Dios te creara, tenía un plan para que tu vida se dedicara de acuerdo a su plan soberano para ti.

No hay necesidad de que te sientas incompetente al lado de nadie cuando tienes una relación íntima con el que creó a todos. Alguien dijo una vez: «El que se postra ante Dios, puede estar de pie ante cualquiera».

Reflexión:

Reconozco que soy de inmenso valor ante Dios, por tanto mantendré una relación íntima con Él.

Verse of the Day - September 23, 2016


Romans 5:3-4 (NIV) Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Read all of Romans 5

Our Daily Bread - Words for the Weary


By David McCasland

The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. (Isaiah 50:4)

A few days after his father died, 30-year-old C. S. Lewis received a letter from a woman who had cared for his mother during her illness and death more than two decades earlier. The woman offered her sympathy for his loss and wondered if he remembered her. “My dear Nurse Davison,” Lewis replied. “Remember you? I should think I do.”

Lewis recalled how much her presence in their home had meant to him as well as to his brother and father during a difficult time. He thanked her for her words of sympathy and said, “It is really comforting to be taken back to those old days. The time during which you were with my mother seemed very long to a child and you became part of home.”

When we struggle in the circumstances of life, an encouraging word from others can lift our spirits and our eyes to the Lord. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah wrote, “The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary” (50:4). And when we look to the Lord, He offers words of hope and light in the darkness.

Heavenly Father, help me to hear Your word of hope today. And help me to speak words of hope and encouragement to others, pointing them to You.

Kind words can lift a heavy heart.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Unser Täglich Brot - Worte für die Müden

Lesen: Jesaja 50,4-10 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Hoheslied 1–3; Galater 2

Von David McCasland

Gott der Herr hat mir eine Zunge gegeben, wie sie Jünger haben, dass ich wisse mit den Müden zu rechter Zeit zu reden. (Jesaja 50,4)

Ein paar Tage nachdem sein Vater gestorben war, erhielt der 30-jährige C. S. Lewis einen Brief von einer Frau, die vor über zwanzig Jahren seine Mutter gepflegt und bis zu ihrem Tod betreut hatte. Die Frau bekundete ihre Anteilnahme an seinem Verlust und fragte, ob er sich wohl noch an sie erinnerte. „Liebe Schwester Davison“, erwiderte Lewis. „Ob ich mich noch an Sie erinnere? Aber ganz gewiss.“

Lewis schrieb, wieviel ihre Gegenwart in jener schweren Zeit damals für ihn und seinen Bruder und auch für ihren Vater bedeutet hatte. Er dankte ihr für ihre Anteilnahme und sagte: „Es ist wirklich tröstlich, an jene alten Zeiten zurückzudenken. Für ein Kind war es eine lange Zeit, in der Sie bei meiner Mutter waren, und Sie gehörten für mich fast zur Familie.“

Wenn bestimmte Situationen im Leben uns Mühe machen, dann kann ein Mut machendes Wort von anderen uns trösten und unsere Blicke auf den Herrn lenken. Der Prophet Jesaja schrieb im Alten Testament: „Gott der Herr hat mir eine Zunge gegeben, wie sie Jünger haben, dass ich wisse mit den Müden zu rechter Zeit zu reden“ (50,4). Und wenn wir auf Jesus sehen, spricht auch er uns Worte der Hoffnung zu und schenkt Licht in der Dunkelheit.

Himmlischer Vater, hilf mir, heute dein Wort der Hoffnung zu hören. Und hilf mir, anderen Worte der Hoffnung und Ermutigung zu sagen und sie auf dich hinzuweisen.

Ein freundliches Wort kann ein schweres Herz aufrichten.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Слова поддержки

Читать сейчас: Исаия 50:4-10 | Библия за год: Песнь песней 1-3; 1 Коринфянам 13

автор: Дэвид Маккасланд

Господь Бог дал Мне язык мудрых, чтобы Я мог словом подкреплять изнемогающего. Исаия 50:4

Через несколько дней после смерти отца тридцатилетний Клайв Льюис получил письмо от женщины, которая заботилась о его матери во время смертельной болезни двумя десятилетиями ранее. Женщина выражала сочувствие по поводу утраты и спрашивала, помнит ли он ее. «Дорогая няня Дэвисон, – ответил Льюис, – помню ли я вас? Такое забывать нельзя».

Льюис вспоминал, как много значило ее присутствие в доме для него, а также для его брата и отца в то трудное время. Он поблагодарил женщину за слова сочувствия и добавил: «Очень утешительно в мыслях вернуться в прошлое. Время, когда вы ухаживали за мамой, мне, ребенку, показалось таким долгим, что я стал воспринимать вас как члена семьи».

В борьбе с обстоятельствами жизни ободряющее слово друга может вознести наши сердца и глаза к Господу. Ветхозаветный пророк Исаия писал: «Господь Бог дал Мне язык мудрых, чтобы Я мог словом подкреплять изнемогающего» (Ис. 50:4). Обращаясь к Господу, мы получаем от Него слова надежды и свет во тьме, которые нужны не только нам. Будем утешать и поддерживать изнемогающих, которых так много вокруг нас.

Отче Небесный, дай мне слышать Твои слова надежды. И помоги нести их другим, указывая на Тебя.

Доброе слово несет облегчение сердцу.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Des paroles d’encouragement


par David McCasland

Le Seigneur, l’Éternel, m’a donné une langue exercée, pour que je sache soutenir par la parole celui qui est abattu. (Ésaïe 50:4)

Peu de temps après la mort de son père, C. S. Lewis, alors âgé de 30 ans, a reçu une lettre d’une femme qui avait pris soin de la mère de celui‑ci durant sa maladie l’ayant conduite à sa mort plus de deux décennies auparavant. La femme lui offrait ses condoléances et se demandait s’il se souvenait d’elle. Il lui a alors répondu : « Chère infirmière Davison, si je me souviens de vous ? Et comment ! »

Lewis se rappelait combien sa présence sous leur toit avait compté pour son père, son frère et lui‑même au cours d’une période difficile. Il l’a donc remerciée de ses condoléances et lui a écrit : « C’est vraiment réconfortant d’être ramené en ce temps‑là. Comme j’étais alors enfant, le temps que vous avez passé auprès de ma mère m’a semblé très long et m’a amené à vous considérer comme un membre de la famille. »

Lorsque nous traversons une période éprouvante, on peut nous redonner le moral par une parole encourageante et nous faire lever les yeux sur le Seigneur. Dans l’Ancien Testament, le prophète Ésaïe a écrit : « Le Seigneur, l’Éternel, m’a donné une langue exercée, pour que je sache soutenir par la parole celui qui est abattu » (50.4). Or, lorsque nous fixons le regard sur le Seigneur, il nous offre des paroles pour nous redonner espoir et éclairer nos ténèbres.

Les paroles douces ont le pouvoir de relever un coeur abattu.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ