Saturday, October 1, 2016

Night Light for Couples - The Peanut Vendor

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.

by Sam Kameleson

Once upon a time, there lived a peanut vendor in South India. Every day he walked up and down the beach calling out, “Peanuts! Peanuts for sale! Peanuts!” The man was miserably poor. He barely earned half a living, hardly enough to feed his family. But at night he bragged to his wife and children, “I am the president and the vice president and the secretary and the treasurer of my own company!”

Eventually, the grinding poverty wore his nerves paper thin. One day he snapped. He sold all his peanuts and most of his meager belongings. He decided to go on a big fling.

“For one day, I am going to live like a rich man!” he vowed.

So he stopped by the barbershop for a clean shave and a hairstyle trim. He visited a fine clothing store and purchased an expensive suit, white shirt and tie, and all the accessories needed to look rich. Then he checked himself into the finest luxury hotel for the night. He had just enough money left to pay for the gourmet breakfast buffet the next morning.

He enjoyed the night’s accommodations in his luxury suite. When morning came he located the private, beachfront patio for the breakfast buffet. Although it was crowded with tourists, he found a table by himself. He had just filled his plate when in walked an elegantly dressed man. By this time no more tables were available, so the man approached and asked, “May I join you?”

The peanut vendor replied, “Why, yes! Please sit down.” He thought, this is my lucky day! Not only am I living like a rich man, but I am going to eat with a rich man, too.

As the two began to talk, the stranger asked, “Sir, what do you do?” “I am the president and the vice president and the secretary and the treasurer of my own company,” he replied. “And what do you do?” The richly dressed man looked a bit sheepish. “I’m sorry. I should have introduced myself. I just supposed that with the coverage in the newspapers you might have recognized me. My name is John D. Rockefeller.” Although he had not recognized the face, the peanut vendor did know the name. He thought, This is wonderful! I am eating with one of the richest men in the whole world.

After talking for a while, Mr. Rockefeller said, “I like your style. We are starting a new company here in South India. Why don’t you come to work for me? I will make you vice president of sales in my new firm.”

The peanut vendor replied, “Why, thank you. What a generous offer! I would like a few minutes to think it over.”

“Of course,” said Mr. Rockefeller, “but I would like some indication of your interest before we part company.”

The two leisurely enjoyed the rest of their meals. When they were finished, the peanut vendor stood up. He wanted to announce his decision with style. He took a step away from the table and then turned and spoke in a voice loud enough so many could overhear.

“Thank you, Mr. Rockefeller, for offering me the position of vice president in your new company. But I must decline. I prefer to be the president and the vice president and the secretary and the treasurer of my own company.” He turned on his heel and walked out.

Years later, an old peanut vendor walked up and down the same resort beaches croaking in a broken voice, “Peanuts! Peanuts for sale! Peanuts!” But at night he boasted to his grandchildren that long ago one of the richest men in the world had offered to make him vice president of a huge firm.

“I turned it down,” he bragged, “so I could be the president and the vice president and the secretary and the treasurer of my own company.”

Looking ahead…

The peanut vendor had a chance for financial security but was too proud and self‐sufficient to accept it. Yet don’t we, as Christians, often make the same mistake? Our “rich” friend—our heavenly Father—owns the possessions and resources of the entire world. He has offered us love, meaning, purpose, and, ultimately, eternal life. These are His gifts to us (“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ”—Philippians 4:19). All we must do is repent of our sins and accept His lordship in our lives. But many husbands and wives are too proud—too self‐sufficient—to surrender their lives and belongings to Him. The unfortunate result is that they continue in misery and poverty.

Do you struggle with wanting “more”—be it money, possessions, status, or something else? We’ll spend the next few days discussing the impact of material desires and money management on marriage. As we do, keep in mind that everything we own and everything we are really belongs to the Lord of all.

- James C Dobson
  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • “The Peanut Vendor” by Sam Kameleson. Taken from The Christ- Centered Marriage, © 1996 by Neil T. Anderson and Charles Mylander, Gospel Light/ Regal Books, Ventura, Calif., 93003. Used by permission.

We have to become saints to be happy

by Archbishop Fulton Sheen

“How are we going to live in these troubled times? There’s really only one answer. We have to become saints…so here we have the dilemma, that we have to become saints to be happy, and yet how to be one? Well, the Church has given us a saint for our times, and that is, the picture of this young nun, St. Therese, who gave us a way, first of all, that is very simple…she really had two rules. One was never to seek the satisfaction of the self, and secondly, to do everything, to bear everything, out of love for our Lord…the method of the little flower was to integrate sanctity with what we are doing….a saint is one who makes Christ loveable…it does not require much time to make a saint, it requires only, much love.”

The Daily Readings for October 1, 2016

Hosea 11:1-9
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them. They shall return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me. The sword rages in their cities, it consumes their oracle-priests, and devours because of their schemes. My people are bent on turning away from me. To the Most High they call, but he does not raise them up at all. How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.

Acts 22:17-29
"After I had returned to Jerusalem and while I was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance and saw Jesus saying to me, 'Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.' And I said, 'Lord, they themselves know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. And while the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing by, approving and keeping the coats of those who killed him.' Then he said to me, 'Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'" Up to this point they listened to him, but then they shouted, "Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live." And while they were shouting, throwing off their cloaks, and tossing dust into the air, the tribune directed that he was to be brought into the barracks, and ordered him to be examined by flogging, to find out the reason for this outcry against him. But when they had tied him up with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, "Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who is uncondemned?" When the centurion heard that, he went to the tribune and said to him, "What are you about to do? This man is a Roman citizen." The tribune came and asked Paul, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?" And he said, "Yes." The tribune answered, "It cost me a large sum of money to get my citizenship." Paul said, "But I was born a citizen." Immediately those who were about to examine him drew back from him; and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him.

Luke 6:27-38
"But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. "Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back."

Morning Psalms
Psalm 107:33-43 Part II Posuit flumina
33   The LORD changed rivers into deserts, and water-springs into thirsty ground,
34   A fruitful land into salt flats, because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.
35   He changed deserts into pools of water and dry land into water-springs.
36   He settled the hungry there, and they founded a city to dwell in.
37   They sowed fields, and planted vineyards, and brought in a fruitful harvest.
38   He blessed them, so that they increased greatly; he did not let their herds decrease.
39   Yet when they were diminished and brought low, through stress of adversity and sorrow,
40   (He pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes)
41   He lifted up the poor out of misery and multiplied their families like flocks of sheep.
42   The upright will see this and rejoice, but all wickedness will shut its mouth.
43   Whoever is wise will ponder these things, and consider well the mercies of the LORD.

Psalm 108 Paratum cor meum
1   My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and make melody.
2   Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp; I myself will waken the dawn.
3   I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4   For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5   Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, and your glory over all the earth.
6   So that those who are dear to you may be delivered, save with your right hand and answer me.
7   God spoke from his holy place and said, "I will exult and parcel out Shechem; I will divide the valley of Succoth.
8   Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my scepter.
9   Moab is my washbasin, on Edom I throw down my sandal to claim it, and over Philistia will I shout in triumph."
10   Who will lead me into the strong city? who will bring me into Edom?
11   Have you not cast us off, O God? you no longer go out, O God, with our armies.
12   Grant us your help against the enemy, for vain is the help of man.
13   With God we will do valiant deeds, and he shall tread our enemies under foot.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 33 Exultate, justi
1   Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; it is good for the just to sing praises.
2   Praise the LORD with the harp; play to him upon the psaltery and lyre.
3   Sing for him a new song; sound a fanfare with all your skill upon the trumpet.
4   For the word of the LORD is right, and all his works are sure.
5   He loves righteousness and justice; the loving-kindness of the LORD fills the whole earth.
6   By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, by the breath of his mouth all the heavenly hosts.
7   He gathers up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin and stores up the depths of the sea.
8   Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all who dwell in the world stand in awe of him.
9   For he spoke, and it came to pass; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10   The LORD brings the will of the nations to naught; he thwarts the designs of the peoples.
11   But the LORD'S will stands fast for ever, and the designs of his heart from age to age.
12   Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD! happy the people he has chosen to be his own!
13   The LORD looks down from heaven, and beholds all the people in the world.
14   From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze on all who dwell on the earth.
15   He fashions all the hearts of them and understands all their works.
16   There is no king that can be saved by a mighty army; a strong man is not delivered by his great strength.
17   The horse is a vain hope for deliverance; for all its strength it cannot save.
18   Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him, on those who wait upon his love,
19   To pluck their lives from death, and to feed them in time of famine.
20   Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
21   Indeed, our heart rejoices in him, for in his holy Name we put our trust.
22   Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, as we have put our trust in you.

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 Daily Meditation for October 1, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Scott B. Hayashi

Psalm 107:33-34 (NRSV) The LORD changed rivers into deserts, and water-springs into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into salt flats, because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.

For the writers of the Bible there was an intimate connection between the earth and the behavior of the people. For us, what the psalmist envisioned has become a concrete reality. We are the stewards of God’s creation.

But we have fouled our rivers, polluted our air, destroyed forests, ripped hillsides apart, laid waste to animal habitats, wiped out species of animals, and turned our environment into an oven. We have not done well as stewards.

Saint Paul says in Romans 8 that the earth groans in labor pains (earthquakes) to be set free from its bondage and decay, awaiting the revealing of the children of God. The earth is still groaning, waiting for the children of God to rise. Will you—will I—be a child of God—true, whole, brave, and strong? Our world waits, and the hour grows late.

O God, grant me the courage and strength to be all that you have created me to be. Amen.

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NIV Devotions for Couples - Conquering Regrets

by Marian V. Liautaud

Read Genesis 19:1–29

“Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” (Genesis 19:17)

If only we hadn’t married so soon. If only we had more money. If only I had married Jake instead of John. Regrets in marriage are damaging. They keep our eyes fixed on the rearview mirror instead of on the road ahead. While reviewing the past and assessing what we’ve learned through mistakes can be a healthy exercise, regretting the past only serves to fuel discontentment and impede growth.

When Dan and I decided to close a three-year-old business, I struggled with regret. I had used up all of our nest egg to pursue a business venture I had believed in. When the business failed, I regretted so many decisions I had made, especially not listening to Dan’s advice along the way. My failure meant that we would be struggling financially again after having enjoyed several years of monetary comfort. Even though I knew God had walked us through this difficult time and taught us invaluable lessons, it was tempting to think, “If I hadn’t tried to start that new business, we’d be financially set right now.” Instead of keeping my eyes focused on God’s plan for my life, I chose to get stuck in my tracks with if-only thinking.

Lot’s wife had a similar problem. She and her husband were running for their lives from Sodom and Gomorrah, knowing that God had judged the culture they were living in and was about to decimate everything they had ever known. While Lot was running full steam ahead, his wife kept looking over her shoulder. Eventually, the distance between them became so great that Lot literally left his wife in the dust.

Regret is like that. We keep looking over our shoulder, wondering if what we’ve left behind might have been better than what we’re moving toward. God’s angel warned Lot and his wife not to look back, and it’s a warning for us too.

If you routinely catch yourself starting a sentence with “If only,” regret may be an issue you need to deal with. While dwelling on what might have been is never healthy, regret can be an important signal to stop and examine your emotions. For instance, if you catch yourself thinking, “If only I had married Jake instead of John,” it may be time to evaluate why John isn’t measuring up. In your private time with God, pray about the emotions you’re experiencing. Perhaps you’ll discover that your disappointment is springing from unmet needs. With these needs clarified, you can then have a forward-thinking conversation with your spouse about how to improve your relationship.

When I caught myself saying, “If only I hadn’t tried to start this business,” I realized that my fear of God’s inability to meet our needs in the future was driving my regret. Once I discovered that, I could stop looking to the past and begin focusing on a vision for what God might accomplish in our future.

Let’s Talk
  • What, if any, regrets do either of us have in our lives?
  • What unmet need might those regrets indicate?
  • How might we use regrets to improve our relationship with each other? What do we need to entrust to God to move forward in our marriage?

Standing Strong Through the Storm - FORGIVE YOUR ENEMIES

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. (Mark 11:25)

Hatred of her enemies is something Takoosh Hovsepian, the wife of an Iranian pastor murdered in 1994 no longer has. She says: “I’ve learned a lesson at God’s University about how to love your enemies.”

As a teenager, Takoosh prayed that she might be allowed to marry a pastor, so that she could spend her life in the service of God. Her wish was fulfilled, but the way would not be easy.

Her husband, Pastor Haik Hovsepian, was forty-eight years old when one day he did not come home. After twelve days, it became apparent that he had been killed at the behest of the Iranian government. About that time, four other Iranian pastors were also murdered in a cowardly way. They refused to sign an official declaration that they would not evangelize among Muslims.

In Iran, ninety-eight percent of the population is Muslim. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in particular, the problems for Christians became increasingly great.

Takoosh says, “During the revolution, hundreds of people threatened to set fire to the churches, which fortunately did not happen. The Islamic government does not want Muslims to go to church and evangelism among them is forbidden.”

Pastor Hovsepian held important positions in the Iranian Church. On various occasions, he stated that he was willing to go to the utmost for his faith and for the church. His wife reflects, “Haik repeatedly said, ‘We don’t have to be afraid. We must trust in God.’ But in my heart, I was afraid. Haik was full of love for people, even for his Muslim neighbors. They were welcome at the church; they knew that he would help them even in times of difficulty.”

The day that Haik left to collect a friend from the airport and never came back is deeply engraved on the memory of the widow and her children. At the police station, the eldest son, Joseph, was only shown a photo of his father. According to the police, the body of Pastor Hovsepian had been found in an alleyway in Teheran.

Takoosh says, “I only had hatred in my heart, hatred for my enemies who had murdered Haik. I was not able to forgive them. I prayed with my lips, ‘God, give me the strength to forgive,’ but before I prayed, in my imagination I saw myself throwing mud at them. But one day a miracle happened. God taught me how I could forgive my enemies. I was asking for something which on the deepest level I did not want to ask for. But gradually, in a process of ups and downs which took months, God gave me the strength to pray more and more with my heart for those who had murdered my husband. God answered this prayer.

“Then I was no longer praying only with my lips, but from the depths of my heart. I had learned not only to trust in God and to lean on Him, but also how I can forgive my enemies.”

RESPONSE: Today I will forgive offenses against me so God will forgive my sins.

PRAYER: Pray for many Christian brothers and sisters of the persecuted church who have difficulty forgiving those who hurt them or their family.

Un Dia a la Vez - Dios toca a tu puerta

He aquí, yo estoy a la puerta y llamo; si alguno oye mi voz y abre la puerta, entraré a él, y cenaré con él, y él conmigo. Apocalipsis 3:20, RV-60 

Cuando analizamos la frase «Dios toca a la puerta», de inmediato pensamos en su significado según la Palabra y lo que representa: El toque del Señor a la puerta de nuestro corazón.

A pesar de que Dios es el único que nos conoce de manera profunda y sabe todas las cosas que cometemos, Él no toma represalias en nuestra contra. Por el contrario, toca a nuestra puerta a fin de darnos salvación y guiarnos si nos desviamos o andamos en malos caminos.

Siempre tenemos varias oportunidades de cambiar y de enderezar nuestros caminos. A decir verdad, nuestro Padre quiere las aprovechemos con su ayuda y que lo hagamos a tiempo, no cuando toquemos fondo o la situación sea preocupante en realidad.

Hoy es tu día. Así que renuncia a todo lo que te aleja de Dios. Además, pídele que te guíe para hacer su voluntad.

Verse of the Day - October 01, 2016

Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV) “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Read all of Matthew 5

Our Daily Bread - Hold On

 Read: Philippians 3:12–4:1 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 11–13; Ephesians 4

Stand firm in the Lord. Philippians 4:1

Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie, China, is considered one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. To view its towering cliffs in all their glorious splendor, you must take the Tianmen Shan cable car, which covers a distance of 7,455 meters (4.5 miles). It’s amazing how this cable car can travel such long distances and scale such steep mountains without any motor on the car itself. Yet it moves safely up these spectacular heights by keeping a strong grip on a cable that is moved by a powerful motor.

In our journey of faith, how can we finish the race well and “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus”? (Phil. 3:14). Like the cable car, we keep a strong grip on Christ, which is what Paul meant when he said “stand firm in the Lord” (4:1). We have no resources of our own. We depend fully on Christ to keep us moving forward. He will take us through the greatest challenges and lead us safely home.

Toward the end of his earthly life, the apostle Paul declared, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). You can too. Simply keep a strong grip on Christ.

We’re grateful, Lord, that while we aim to keep a strong grip on You, You always keep a strong grip on us! You are working in us and giving us what we need to continue trusting You on our faith journey.

Keeping the faith means trusting God to faithfully keep you.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Unser Täglich Brot - Halte durch

 Lesen: Philipper 3,12–4,1 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Jesaja 11–13; Epheser 4

Steht fest in dem Herrn. (Philipper 4,1)

Der Tianmen in der chinesischen Provinz Hunan gilt als einer der schönsten Berge der Welt. Wer die zerklüfteten Felsen in ihrer ganzen Pracht bewundern will, muss die Seilbahn nehmen. Ohne eigenen Motor überwindet die Kabine scheinbar mühelos eine Strecke von 7455 Metern und rund 1200 Höhenmetern. Das schafft sie, weil sie fest mit dem Seil verbunden ist, das von einem starken Motor angetrieben wird.

Wie können wir in unserem Glaubensleben gut vorwärts kommen und „nach dem vorgesteckten Ziel [jagen], dem Siegespreis der himmlischen Berufung Gottes in Christus Jesus“ (Phil. 3,14)? Wie die Seilbahn brauchen wir einen festen Halt, nämlich Jesus. Das meint Paulus, wenn er sagt, „steht fest in dem Herrn“ (4,1). Wir haben keine eigene Kraft. Wir sind völlig davon abhängig, dass Jesus uns voranbringt. Er wird uns durch die größten Schwierigkeiten leiten und sicher nach Hause führen.

Am Ende seines irdischen Lebens erklärte Paulus: „Ich habe den guten Kampf gekämpft, ich habe den Lauf vollendet, ich habe Glauben gehalten“ (2.Tim. 4,7). Das kannst du auch. Halte dich einfach an Jesus fest.

Herr, wir danken dir, dass du uns immer festhältst, wenn wir uns an dich halten! Du wirkst in uns und gibst uns, was wir brauchen, um dir auf unserem Glaubensweg zu vertrauen.

Glauben halten heißt vertrauen, dass Gott uns hält.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Держись

автор: Альберт Ли

 Читать сейчас: Филиппийцам 3:12–4:1 | Библия за год: Исаия 11-13; 2 Коринфянам 3

Стойте так в Господе. — Филиппийцам 4:1

Гора Тяньмэнь в Чжанцзяцзе считается одной из самых красивых гор в мире. Чтобы полюбоваться ее захватывающей дух красотой, нужно отправиться в увлекательное путешествие по канатной дороге протяженностью 7,5 км. Удивительно наблюдать, как подвесные вагоны бесшумно передвигаются над землей, не имея собственного двигателя. Они надежно закреплены на прочном тросе, который приводится в движение удаленным агрегатом.

Как в путешествии веры нам пройти предлежащее поприще и достичь «цели... почести вышнего призвания Божьего во Христе Иисусе» (Флп. 3:14)? Словно на канатной дороге, мы должны надежно закрепиться на Иисусе Христе. Апостол Павел говорит об этом: «Стойте так в Господе» (Флп. 4:1). Собственных сил у нас нет. Только Христос может продвинуть нас вперед. Он проведет через самые большие трудности и доставит в небесный дом.

Приближаясь к концу земной жизни, Павел написал: «Подвигом добрым я подвизался, течение совершил, веру сохранил» (2 Тим. 4:7). Вы тоже сможете. Только держитесь крепко за Христа.

Благодарим Тебя, Господь, что Ты держишь нас твердой рукой. Ты совершаешь в нас Свой труд и даруешь то, что нам нужно для путешествия веры.

Сохранить веру – значит доверить свой путь Богу.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Demeurez fermes

par Albert Lee

Lisez : Philippiens 3.12 – 4.1 | La Bible en un an : Ésaïe 11 – 13 et Éphésiens 4 

[Demeurez] ainsi fermes dans le Seigneur. (Philippiens 4.1)

On considère le mont Tianmen à Zhangjiajie, en Chine, comme l’une des plus belles montagnes du monde. Pour voir ses falaises gigantesques dans toute leur splendeur glorieuse, il faut emprunter le funiculaire Tianmen Shan sur une distance de 7455 mètres. Il est étonnant que ce téléphérique puisse parcourir d’aussi longues distances et se hisser au haut de montagnes aux parois aussi abruptes sans même que la cabine du funiculaire ne soit motorisée. Elle s’élève néanmoins en toute sécurité le long de ces hauteurs spectaculaires en restant fermement attachée à un câble qu’actionne un moteur puissant.

Durant notre parcours de foi, comment pouvons‑nous achever la course « vers le but, pour remporter le prix de la vocation céleste de Dieu en Jésus‑Christ » (PH 3.14) ? Comme le funiculaire, nous nous attachons fermement à Christ, une nécessité que Paul a d’ailleurs exprimée : « [Demeurez] ainsi fermes dans le Seigneur » (4.1). Nous n’avons aucune ressource en nous‑mêmes. Nous dépendons entièrement de Christ pour qu’il nous fasse aller de l’avant. Il nous fera surmonter les plus grands défis et nous conduira sains et saufs à bon port.

Vers la fin de sa vie terrestre, l’apôtre Paul a déclaré ceci : « J’ai combattu le bon combat, j’ai achevé la course, j’ai gardé la foi » (2 TI 4.7). Or, vous le pouvez aussi. Il vous suffit de rester fermement attaché à Christ.

Garder la foi revient à croire que Dieu nous gardera fidèlement.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ