Monday, September 26, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Charlie Wedemeyer

“Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

Life was good for Charlie Wedemeyer. He was married to a beautiful woman, Lucy, had two wonderful children, and was a successful high school teacher and football coach. When he noticed a weakness in his hands, however, he visited a doctor. The doctor told him he had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), that in a few years he would be totally paralyzed, and that eventually he would die. Charlie’s disease worsened in the years that followed.

Time appeared to be running out. Then two things changed his life—he began using a portable respirator, and he became a Christian.

Today, more than twenty years after being diagnosed, Charlie and Lucy have touched thousands of lives during their appearances across the country. He cannot walk, speak, or even breathe on his own, but he chooses not to dwell on his infirmities.

“Pain and suffering are inescapable,” Charlie says through Lucy’s translation. “It’s up to us to decide if we’re going to be miserable or if we’re going to try to make the most of our lives.”

Charlie Wedemeyer is making the most of his. How about you?

Just between us…
Father, thank You for promising to be with us when we suffer. Help us not to complain too much about life’s little hurts, and help us to place our big sorrows in Your tender care. 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 26, 2016

Hosea 2:14-23
Therefore, I will now allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. From there I will give her her vineyards, and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she shall respond as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. On that day, says the LORD, you will call me, "My husband," and no longer will you call me, "My Baal." For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be mentioned by name no more. I will make for you a covenant on that day with the wild animals, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land; and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will take you for my wife forever; I will take you for my wife in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. I will take you for my wife in faithfulness; and you shall know the LORD. On that day I will answer, says the LORD, I will answer the heavens and they shall answer the earth; and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel; and I will sow him for myself in the land. And I will have pity on Lo-ruhamah, and I will say to Lo-ammi, "You are my people" and he shall say, "You are my God."

Acts 20:17-38
From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him. When they came to him, he said to them: "You yourselves know how I lived among you the entire time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, enduring the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. I did not shrink from doing anything helpful, proclaiming the message to you and teaching you publicly and from house to house, as I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus. And now, as a captive to the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God's grace. "And now I know that none of you, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom, will ever see my face again. Therefore I declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified. I coveted no one's silver or gold or clothing. You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" When he had finished speaking, he knelt down with them all and prayed. There was much weeping among them all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, grieving especially because of what he had said, that they would not see him again. Then they brought him to the ship.

Luke 5:1-11
Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 89:1-18 (Part I) Misericordias Domini
1   Your love, O LORD, for ever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
2   For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
3   I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4   'I will establish your line for ever, and preserve your throne for all generations.'"
5   The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O LORD, and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
6   For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? who is like the LORD among the gods?
7   God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible to all those round about him.
8   Who is like you, LORD God of hosts? O mighty LORD, your faithfulness is all around you.
9   You rule the raging of the sea and still the surging of its waves.
10   You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound; you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11   Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; you laid the foundations of the world and all that is in it.
12   You have made the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your Name.
13   You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
14   Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; love and truth go before your face.
15   Happy are the people who know the festal shout! they walk, O LORD, in the light of your presence.
16   They rejoice daily in your Name; they are jubilant in your righteousness.
17   For you are the glory of their strength, and by your favor our might is exalted.
18   Truly, the LORD is our ruler; The Holy One of Israel is our King.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 89:19-52 (Part II) Tunc locutus es
19   You spoke once in vision and said to your faithful people: "I have set the crown upon a warrior and have exalted one chosen out of the people.
20   I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.
21   My hand will hold him fast and my arm will make him strong.
22   No enemy shall deceive him, nor any wicked man bring him down.
23   I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.
24   My faithfulness and love shall be with him, and he shall be victorious through my Name.
25   I shall make his dominion extend from the Great Sea to the River.
26   He will say to me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.'
27   I will make him my firstborn and higher than the kings of the earth.
28   I will keep my love for him for ever, and my covenant will stand firm for him.
29   I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of heaven."
30   If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my judgments;
31   If they break my statutes and do not keep my commandments;
32   I will punish their transgressions with a rod and their iniquities with the lash;
33   But I will not take my love from him, nor let my faithfulness prove false.
34   I will not break my covenant, nor change what has gone out of my lips.
35   Once for all I have sworn by my holiness: 'I will not lie to David.
36   His line shall endure for ever and his throne as the sun before me;
37   It shall stand fast for evermore like the moon, the abiding witness in the sky.'"
38   But you have cast off and rejected your anointed; you have become enraged at him.
39   You have broken your covenant with your servant, defiled his crown, and hurled it to the ground.
40   You have breached all his walls and laid his strongholds in ruins.
41   All who pass by despoil him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42   You have exalted the right hand of his foes and made all his enemies rejoice.
43   You have turned back the edge of his sword and have not sustained him in battle.
44   You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground.
45   You have cut short the days of his youth and have covered him with shame.
46   How long will you hide yourself, O LORD? will you hide yourself for ever? how long will your anger burn like fire?
47   Remember, LORD, how short life is, how frail you have made all flesh.
48   Who can live and not see death? who can save himself from the power of the grave?
49   Where, Lord, are your loving-kindnesses of old, which you promised David in your faithfulness?
50   Remember, Lord, how your servant is mocked, how I carry in my bosom the taunts of many peoples,
51   The taunts your enemies have hurled, O LORD, which they hurled at the heels of your anointed.
52   Blessed be the LORD for evermore! Amen, I say, Amen.

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 26, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Jonathan Melton

Luke 5:10b-11 (NRSV) Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

The sign outside the small church read: “Be fishers of people. You catch ‘em. I’ll clean ‘em! Sincerely, God.” I still laugh out loud when I remember it; it evokes an image of God wearing eye black and camouflage, cleaning people like catfish in the bed of a truck.

Jesus’ words are confounding. After all, what we know about catching fish is informed by popular techniques of deception and betrayal. And yet hooks, worms, and fancy lures are nowhere to be found in the gospels. Instead, Jesus tells the fishermen to, “Let down your nets.” To fish for people in New Testament terms is to cast generously and gather.

What if catching people is less about proselytizing and more about reconciling? May we embrace the good work of gathering, glad in the knowledge that Christ has gathered us close to God’s heart.

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

Verse of the Day - September 26, 2016

Hebrews 10:30-31 (NIV) For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Read all of Hebrews 10

Our Daily Bread - Calming Your Soul

By Joe Stowell

Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

While attending a concert, my mind detoured to a troublesome issue that insisted on my attention. Thankfully, the distraction was short-lived as the words of a beautiful hymn began to reach deep into my being. A men’s a capella group was singing “Be Still, My Soul.” Tears welled up as I listened to the words and contemplated the restful peace that only God can give: 

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side! Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; leave to thy God to order and provide; in every change He faithful will remain.

When Jesus was denouncing the unrepentant towns where He had done most of His miracles (Matt. 11:20–24), He still had words of comfort for those who would come to Him. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened . . . . learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (vv. 28–29).

This statement is striking! Immediately following His strong words for those who were rejecting Him, Jesus extended an invitation to all to draw near to Him to find the peace we all yearn for. Jesus is the only one who can calm our restless, weary souls.

I come to You now, Lord, in need of rest for my heart. Help me to trust You and be confident in Your love.

When we keep our minds on Jesus, He keeps our minds at peace.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Unser Täglich Brot - Ruhe für die Seele

Lesen: Matthäus 11,25-30 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Jesaja 1–2; Galater 5

Von Joe Stowell

Seid stille und erkennet, dass ich Gott bin! (Psalmen 46,11)

Ich saß in einem Konzert, aber meine Gedanken wollten zu einem Problem wandern, das sich nicht abschütteln ließ. Zum Glück war die Ablenkung nur von kurzer Dauer, denn nun setzte ein Männerchor ein und die Worte des Liedes, das sie sangen, sprachen direkt zu meiner Seele. Tränen stiegen mir in die Augen, als mir wieder neu bewusst wurde, dass nur Gott wahren Frieden schenken kann:

Stille, mein Wille! Dein Jesus hilft siegen; Trage geduldig das Leiden, die Not; Gott ist’s, der alles zum Besten will fügen, der dir getreu bleibt in Schmerzen und Tod.

Als Jesus die unbußfertigen Städte rügte, in denen er die meisten Wunder getan hatte (Matth. 11,20-24), hatte er immer noch Worte des Trostes für die, die zu ihm kommen wollten. „Kommt her zu mir, alle, die ihr mühselig und beladen seid“, sagte er. „Lernt von mir; denn ich bin sanftmütig und von Herzen demütig; so werdet ihr Ruhe finden für eure Seelen“ (V.28-29).

Die Aussage ist verblüffend! Direkt nach dem harten Tadel an die Adresse jener, die ihn ablehnten, lud Jesus alle ein, zu ihm zu kommen, um den Frieden zu finden, nach dem wir alle uns sehnen. Jesus ist der Einzige, der unsere müde, ruhelose Seele zur Ruhe bringen kann.

Herr, ich komme jetzt zu dir, weil ich Ruhe brauche für mein Herz. Hilf mir, dir zu vertrauen und auf deine Liebe zu bauen.

Wenn wir unsere Gedanken auf Jesus richten, bringt er unser Denken zur Ruhe.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Успокоение души

Читать сейчас: Матфея 11:25-30 | Библия за год: Исаия 1-2; 1 Коринфянам 15:1-28

автор: Джозеф Стоуэлл

«Остановитесь и познайте, что Я – Бог».Псалом 45:11

Шел концерт, а я сидел, погруженный в собственные мысли. Был вопрос, который не давал покоя. Однако до моего слуха через пелену грустных мыслей донеслись слова прекрасного гимна. Мужская группа пела «Не унывай». Слезы полились из глаз, а душа впитывала слова о Божьем неизменном присутствии и Его блаженном мире: 

Не унывай! Господь всегда с тобой. Неси свой крест, в страданьях не ропщи. В руках Творца и ты, и жребий твой. Он верен нам, общенья с Ним ищи. Не унывай! Земное все пройдет; На небесах нас дом Отцовский ждет.

Обличая города, в которых не приняли Его свидетельства, несмотря на многие чудеса (Мф. 11:20-24), Спаситель, вопреки общему печальному положению, нашел слова утешения для обращающихся к Нему. Он сказал: «Придите ко Мне все труждающиеся и обремененные... научитесь от Меня, ибо Я кроток и смирен сердцем, и найдете покой душам вашим» (Мф. 11:28-29).

Удивительные слова! После сурового упрека в адрес непокаявшихся Господь обратился ко всем с призывом прийти к Нему и обрести мир. Иисус Христос – единственный, Кто может успокоить наши усталые, обеспокоенные души.

Я прихожу к Тебе, Господь, с нуждой о душевном мире. Помоги мне довериться Тебе и не сомневаться в Твоей любви.

Размышляя о Христе, мы обретаем Его мир.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Apaiser son âme

Lisez : Matthieu 11.25-30 | La Bible en un an : Ésaïe 1 – 2 et Galates 5

par Joe Stowell

Arrêtez, et sachez que je suis Dieu. (Psaume 46.11)

Tandis que j’attendais le début d’un concert, mon esprit est retourné à un problème harcelant. Heureusement, cette distraction n’a pas tardé à se dissiper alors qu’un magnifique cantique se traçait un chemin jusqu’au fond de mon être. Une chorale masculine chantait a cappella « Be Still, My Soul » (Sois apaisée, mon âme). Des larmes me sont montées aux yeux pendant que j’écoutais les paroles de cette chanson et que je sentais m’envahir la paix reposante que seul Dieu peut donner : 

Quel repos céleste ! Mon fardeau n’est plus, libre par le sang du Calvaire, tous mes ennemis, Jésus les a vaincus, gloire et louange à Dieu notre Père ! 

Lorsque Jésus a dénoncé l’incrédulité des villes où il avait accompli le plus de miracles (MT 11.20‑24), il a malgré tout réservé des paroles de réconfort à ceux qui viendraient à lui : « Venez à moi, vous tous qui êtes fatigués et chargés […] recevez mes instructions, car je suis doux et humble de coeur ; et vous trouverez le repos pour vos âmes » (V. 28,29).

Cette déclaration est frappante ! Immédiatement après avoir adressé des paroles percutantes à ceux qui le rejetaient, Jésus a invité tout le monde à s’approcher de lui afin de trouver la paix que nous désirons tous. Jésus est le seul à pouvoir apaiser notre âme fatiguée.

Gardons l’esprit fixé sur Jésus, et il nous gardera l’esprit en paix.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ