Friday, October 14, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Behind Every Success…

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.

“Let us encourage one another.” Hebrews 10:25

It’s been said that behind every successful man is a great woman. The wife of one of the most famous names in literature, Nathaniel Hawthorne, was probably one such woman. Sophia Hawthorne secretly set aside a few dollars each week, a savings that eventually grew large enough to support them both for a year. You see, Sophia believed that her husband would one day be a great writer. When Hawthorne came home and announced in disgrace that he’d been fired from his job in a customhouse, Sophia presented him with the money, saying, “Now you can write your book!” Her confidence and encouragement led to one of America’s classic novels, The Scarlet Letter.

Then there was the corporate chief who, while traveling with his wife, pulled their car into a rundown gas station. They discovered that his wife had dated the gas station attendant in high school. “Boy, are you lucky I came along,” bragged the husband after they left. “If you had married him, you would be the wife of a gas station attendant.”

“My dear,” replied the wife, “if I had married him, he would be the chief executive officer, and you would be the gas station attendant.”

It’s certainly true that one spouse has tremendous influence on the success of the other. Jim has supported me in my spiritual life, in the raising of our children, and in so many other areas. Likewise, I have attempted to bolster him however I could and have seen God’s blessing on his work and ministry. And Jim lets me know he appreciates my encouragement. He has said more than once that I believed in him before he believed in himself. Of course, we’ve fallen short of this supportive ideal on more than one occasion—and you probably will, too. But if you consistently strive to bring strong and steady encouragement to your mate, you’ll both reap lasting rewards.

- 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 October 14, 2016

Ecclesiasticus 1:1-10, 1:18-27
Many great teachings have been given to us through the Law and the Prophets and the others that followed them, and for these we should praise Israel for instruction and wisdom. Now, those who read the scriptures must not only themselves understand them, but must also as lovers of learning be able through the spoken and written word to help the outsiders. So my grandfather Jesus, who had devoted himself especially to the reading of the Law and the Prophets and the other books of our ancestors, and had acquired considerable proficiency in them, was himself also led to write something pertaining to instruction and wisdom, so that by becoming familiar also with his book those who love learning might make even greater progress in living according to the law. You are invited therefore to read it with goodwill and attention, and to be indulgent in cases where, despite our diligent labor in translating, we may seem to have rendered some phrases imperfectly. For what was originally expressed in Hebrew does not have exactly the same sense when translated into another language. Not only this book, but even the Law itself, the Prophecies, and the rest of the books differ not a little when read in the original. When I came to Egypt in the thirty-eighth year of the reign of Euergetes and stayed for some time, I found opportunity for no little instruction. It seemed highly necessary that I should myself devote some diligence and labor to the translation of this book. During that time I have applied my skill day and night to complete and publish the book for those living abroad who wished to gain learning and are disposed to live according to the law. All wisdom is from the Lord, and with him it remains forever. The sand of the sea, the drops of rain, and the days of eternity-- who can count them? The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth, the abyss, and wisdom-- who can search them out? Wisdom was created before all other things, and prudent understanding from eternity. The root of wisdom-- to whom has it been revealed? Her subtleties-- who knows them? There is but one who is wise, greatly to be feared, seated upon his throne-- the Lord. It is he who created her; he saw her and took her measure; he poured her out upon all his works, upon all the living according to his gift; he lavished her upon those who love him. The fear of the Lord is the crown of wisdom, making peace and perfect health to flourish. She rained down knowledge and discerning comprehension, and she heightened the glory of those who held her fast. To fear the Lord is the root of wisdom, and her branches are long life. Unjust anger cannot be justified, for anger tips the scale to one's ruin. Those who are patient stay calm until the right moment, and then cheerfulness comes back to them. They hold back their words until the right moment; then the lips of many tell of their good sense. In the treasuries of wisdom are wise sayings, but godliness is an abomination to a sinner. If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord will lavish her upon you. For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and discipline, fidelity and humility are his delight.

Acts 28:1-16
After we had reached safety, we then learned that the island was called Malta. The natives showed us unusual kindness. Since it had begun to rain and was cold, they kindled a fire and welcomed all of us around it. Paul had gathered a bundle of brushwood and was putting it on the fire, when a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, "This man must be a murderer; though he has escaped from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live." He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. They were expecting him to swell up or drop dead, but after they had waited a long time and saw that nothing unusual had happened to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god. Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It so happened that the father of Publius lay sick in bed with fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and cured him by praying and putting his hands on him. After this happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. They bestowed many honors on us, and when we were about to sail, they put on board all the provisions we needed. Three months later we set sail on a ship that had wintered at the island, an Alexandrian ship with the Twin Brothers as its figurehead. We put in at Syracuse and stayed there for three days; then we weighed anchor and came to Rhegium. After one day there a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. There we found believers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. The believers from there, when they heard of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. When we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.

Luke 9:28-36
Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"-- not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 16 Conserva me, Domine
1   Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; I have said to the LORD, "You are my Lord, my good above all other."
2   All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, upon those who are noble among the people.
3   But those who run after other gods shall have their troubles multiplied.
4   Their libations of blood I will not offer, nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.
5   O LORD, you are my portion and my cup; it is you who uphold my lot.
6   My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
7   I will bless the LORD who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night.
8   I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
9   My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; my body also shall rest in hope.
10   For you will not abandon me to the grave, nor let your holy one see the Pit.
11   You will show me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 17 Exaudi, Domine
1   Hear my plea of innocence, O LORD; give heed to my cry; listen to my prayer, which does not come from lying lips.
2   Let my vindication come forth from your presence; let your eyes be fixed on justice.
3   Weigh my heart, summon me by night, melt me down; you will find no impurity in me.
4   I give no offense with my mouth as others do; I have heeded the words of your lips.
5   My footsteps hold fast to the ways of your law; in your paths my feet shall not stumble.
6   I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; incline your ear to me and hear my words.
7   Show me your marvelous loving-kindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at your right hand from those who rise up against them.
8   Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings,
9   From the wicked who assault me, from my deadly enemies who surround me.
10   They have closed their heart to pity, and their mouth speaks proud things.
11   They press me hard, now they surround me, watching how they may cast me to the ground,
12   Like a lion, greedy for its prey, and like a young lion lurking in secret places.
13   Arise, O LORD; confront them and bring them down; deliver me from the wicked by your sword.
14   Deliver me, O LORD, by your hand from those whose portion in life is this world;
15   Whose bellies you fill with your treasure, who are well supplied with children and leave their wealth to their little ones.
16   But at my vindication I shall see your face; when I awake, I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 22 Deus, Deus meu
1   My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress?
2   O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not answer; by night as well, but I find no rest.
3   Yet you are the Holy One, enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
4   Our forefathers put their trust in you; they trusted, and you delivered them.
5   They cried out to you and were delivered; they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
6   But as for me, I am a worm and no man, scorned by all and despised by the people.
7   All who see me laugh me to scorn; they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,
8   He trusted in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, if he delights in him.
9   Yet you are he who took me out of the womb, and kept me safe upon my mother's breast.
10   I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born; you were my God when I was still in my mother's womb.
11   Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.
12   Many young bulls encircle me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me.
13   They open wide their jaws at me, like a ravening and a roaring lion.
14   I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint; my heart within my breast is melting wax.
15   My mouth is dried out like a pot-sherd; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.
16   Packs of dogs close me in, and gangs of evildoers circle around me; they pierce my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones.
17   They stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.
18   Be not far away, O LORD; you are my strength; hasten to help me.
19   Save me from the sword, my life from the power of the dog.
20   Save me from the lion's mouth, my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls.
21   I will declare your Name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
22   Praise the LORD, you that fear him; stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob's line, give glory.
23   For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them; but when they cry to him he hears them.
24   My praise is of him in the great assembly; I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.
25   The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the LORD shall praise him: "May your heart live for ever!"
26   All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations bow before him.
27   For kingship belongs to the LORD; he rules over the nations.
28   To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship; all who go down to the dust fall before him.
29   My soul shall live for him; my descendants shall serve him; they shall be known as the LORD'S for ever.
30   They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn the saving deeds that he has done.

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 14, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Scott B. Hayashi

Luke 9:35 (NRSV) Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”

The voice commands Peter, James, and John to listen to Jesus. If they have any doubts about who or what Jesus is before this encounter, those doubts resolved.

We would do well to remember that we live on the resurrection side of Easter. For us, there is no doubt—Jesus is the Son of the Living God, the Word made flesh. The command to listen to Jesus is the same for each of us as it was for the first disciples. But unlike Peter, James, John, and all the rest, we do not have a physically present Jesus to touch, see, hear, smell, record podcasts of, or share with on our social media channels. So what are we to do?

Well, the way to start listening to Jesus is to read the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Read them over and over, commit verses to memory. Become so familiar with the stories of Jesus that what he teaches and says changes the way we live our lives. The more we do this, the more we will hear Jesus speaking to us.

The command remains the same: “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”

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 - REJOICING IN PERSECUTION

“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.” Luke 6:23

This scripture verse follows Jesus’ statement about the blessings of persecution: hatred, exclusion, insult and rejection in Luke 6:22. This description is of persecution that is like Indian curry. It can be mild, medium or hot! And this verse parallels Jesus teaching in Matthew (5:12) about how we should respond when persecution comes our way.

Jesus does not just say accept it or receive it gracefully. He seems to almost go overboard in indicating that we should be glad and rejoice by leaping for joy when we receive this kind of treatment. Some would say Jesus goes over the top here.

The reason for rejoicing is because the persecuted disciple of Jesus is going to receive a great reward in heaven and is in the company of the prophets of old who also received this kind of treatment.

Can we realistically “jump for joy” in the face of persecution?

Pastor Richard Wurmbrandt was languishing in a Romanian prison cell after months of torture and now isolation. He was meditating on this scripture and decided to make a literal application. So Richard danced —as much as anyone could dance in a cell three paces square— leaping about the room like a madman. The first time he did it, the guard really did think he had gone mad. It was one of the guard’s duties to watch for signs that a prisoner’s mind was beginning to crack under the strain of imprisonment, for if he went to pieces a prisoner would be of no more use for questioning. So the guard rushed off to his canteen and came back with a hunk of bread and some cheese and sugar, and broke the rule of silence as he tried to soothe this strange, laughing, capering figure. Richard ate the food gratefully. It was a very large hunk of bread, far more than he usually had in a whole week!

In his book, In God’s Underground, Richard Wurmbrandt shares how encouraged he was at responding literally to Jesus’ direction to react to persecution with great joy and rejoicing! He had received a reward on earth as well as in heaven.

RESPONSE: Today I will respond to even mild persecution because of Jesus with great rejoicing realizing I will receive a wonderful reward in heaven.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord that You expect me to take Your word literally. Help me to be joyful in the face of any persecution for You.

Men of the Bible - James and John

John' name means: "Yahweh Has Been Gracious."

James' name, a form of "Jacob," means: "He Grasps the Heel" (figuratively, "He Deceives")

Their work: James and his younger brother John were career fishermen working in their father's business on the Sea of Galilee.
Their character: James was quiet and analytical; John was verbal and open. Both of these hardworking men were profoundly changed when they met Jesus. Not only did they follow him, but they were brought into his inner circle along with Peter, their friend and business associate.
Their sorrow: Following Jesus cost them everything. They left their family business, their familiar surroundings, their friends, and even their families to walk with the Savior.
Their triumph: What may have started as pure adventure—following the Teacher—ended in a revolution that changed the world.
Key Scriptures: Matthew 4:18-22; 16:13-17:9

A Look at the Men

Life was good for Zebedee. He owned a prosperous fishing enterprise, and he and his wife, Salome, had two sons who were partners with him in the business.

Although it must have been a blow to their fishing company when James and John left their nets to follow Jesus, there is no evidence that Zebedee and Salome resisted their sons' decision. "After all," they may have said to each other, "think how good this will be for the boys to be seen with the Teacher. Maybe it will even be good for business."

For their part, James and John would never look back. They lived with the Savior. They walked hundreds of miles with him and saw him perform awesome miracles, all the while wondering who he was. Whenever he was asked by commoners and Pharisees, he sidestepped their questions. Why doesn't he just go ahead and declare his messiahship? the disciples wondered.

And then, after two years of being with Jesus, Zebedee and Salome's sons went to the mountain with their friend Peter and saw the light. These men caught a glimpse of the glory of God. And like Moses and Isaiah before them, they were completely dumbfounded. This was the Messiah. They no longer doubted.

From that moment forward, Jesus had a special relationship with James, John, and Peter. He put them in his inner circle as his closest associates. When James and John reported this to Zebedee and Salome, they must have been proud. But Salome took a step beyond good sense when she went to Jesus with an ill-advised request. "One day, when you come into power," she said to the Savior, thinking he would one day be an earthly king, "could you give my sons the highest rank in the land? So lofty would be their positions that one would sit to the right of your throne and one would sit to the left."

This request wasn't just coming from a doting mother. She and her sons had discussed it, for when Jesus said, "You don't have any idea what you're asking," the answer was in the plural. "Yes, we do!" they answered.

When the other disciples heard about James's and John's request, they were outraged—probably because they had wanted these positions of prominence for themselves!

And then, in one short moment, history's most profound lesson in leadership was delivered. Jesus' words must have seared the disciples' hearts. "Heathen leaders take their power and cram it down the throats of their subjects," he told them. "But you're not to do this."

James's and John's faces must have flushed. Jesus was talking to all twelve of the disciples, but it was these two brothers who really felt the sting of his words. Sideward glances from the others made it worse.

"Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave." James and John were transfixed by Jesus' words, but he wasn't quite finished. "I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve," Jesus said. Then he added, "And to give my life as a ransom for many."

Following Jesus' resurrection, James, John, and five other disciples were back on the sea late at night. They fished all night but caught nothing. As the morning sun peeked over the horizon, they saw a man standing on the shore. "Throw your net on the right side of the boat," he hollered to them. When they did, they couldn't pull the net in because it was so full of fish. "It's Jesus," John said, recognizing the cadence of his voice and the power of his words. "It's Jesus!"

Once on shore, the disciples and Jesus had breakfast together. His final words after the meal, although directed at Peter, were surely for each of the seven disciples who were there. They are words for us as well. "You want to lead?" Jesus asked. "Then feed my sheep."

Reflect On: Matthew 4:18–20
Praise God: For God’s glory.
Offer Thanks: For the life-changing power of God’s presence and holiness.
Confess: Any unwillingness to risk it all to be Jesus’ disciple—any temptation to treat Jesus like your buddy or your example rather than the glorified and perfect Son of the living God.
Ask God: To challenge you to acknowledge his presence more frequently. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, listen to his voice saying to you, “Follow me.”

Girlfriends in God - Finding Awe

by Kelly Balarie

Today’s Truth

While He was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!’ (Matthew 17:5).

Friend to Friend

Often I feel like I am living ground hog day all over again. I go through the motions. Wake up. Coffee. Bible. Work. Kids. Husband. Dinner. TV. Sleep. Repeat.

Days just are what they are sometimes. We have tasks we have to do, roles we have to play and agendas that simply need to be followed.

Some days, half of me wants to run away from it all, saying, “Come back again tomorrow: I am on a long term retreat with God that lasts forever.” I just want to give up and give in because I feel that all my doing is making me miss the greatest being ever – Jesus.

Do you ever feel like your busy is stealing the pleasure of knowing and being with God?

Connecting and seeing God when you’re struggling with daily living can be a thing that eludes us. We can feel that life is passing away and so is our once-on-fire heart that pulsed so strong for God.

Yet, there is always an invitation waiting. The real question is - do we see it? Will we, like the disciples, who saw Jesus transfigured before their very eyes, allow ourselves to be drawn in to the wonder God has prepared for us?

3 Questions to Help You Find God’s Magnificence in the Daily Mundane.

1. Are you open to being led? Or, are you so driven by your own leadings that you determine where you head?

“After six days Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. (Matthew 17:1)

2. Do you keep a watch for brilliance and beauty as you proceed or do you always heed to immediate tasks and urgency?

“There He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” (Matthew 17:2)

3. Do you listen to Jesus and allow His love envelope you, just like the cloud circled the disciples so long ago? Or do you go, go, go and just feel unloved?

“A bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!’” (Matthew 17:5)

Jesus wants to shine in our life. He wants to fill our lives, our homes and our being with his radiance that warms with the rays of the Son.

Will you move in, open your eyes, and see His beauty today?

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, You are here. You are living, active and working. Help me not to live with my head down and my heart closed, but instead help me to live eyes open and a heart willing to receive the fullness of you. Give me the faith to be led in all Your ways so that I can find myself at destinations unimaginable. I don’t want to miss anything You are doing. Grant me the grace to see the fullness of You.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Take this day to see God. Take note of nature, acts of kindness, and His Word in motion during your day. Celebrate these things and thank God for them. See how He rewards your eyes that see His goodness.

More from the Girlfriends

Kelly Balarie, a blogger at Purposeful Faith, is passionate about joining hands with women who often find themselves stuck in the pits of life. Step-by-step, word-by-word, her dream is that together they can emerge better - fear, fret and panic-free. Get all of Kelly’s Purposeful Faith blog posts by email for a dose of inspiration and encouragement.

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Un Dia a la Vez - La pereza

Perezoso, ¿hasta cuándo has de dormir? [...] Así vendrá tu necesidad como caminante, y tu pobreza como hombre armado. Proverbios 6:9-11, RV-60

Una cosa es pasar el rato, que por cierto es muy agradable, y otra muy diferente es ser perezoso. La pereza no habla lo mejor de nosotros, ya que es como una carta de presentación.

Aparte de lo que puede afectar en tu trabajo y te dé mala fama, quizá no te tengan en cuenta para cosas que te gustarían. Incluso, me atrevería a decir que es fatal para tu casa.

En lo personal, no podría estar al lado de un esposo perezoso. ¡Qué terrible es que nosotras como mujeres, que debemos tener el respaldo de nuestra pareja, nos toque hacerlo «todo» porque no podamos contar con él debido a que siempre está dormido o a que todo le dé pereza! Tal vez para algunos les resulte extraño saber que Dios hable en la Biblia de esta condición.

El libro de Proverbios nos pone como ejemplo el insecto más organizado y trabajador:

La hormiga. ¿Sabías que la hormiga prepara su comida en el verano y recoge en el tiempo de la siega su mantenimiento? Sus caminos son organizados a pesar de que no tienen gobernador, ni señor.

¿Tú necesitas un jefe para trabajar y hacer las cosas con excelencia? Si eres ese tipo de persona que le cuesta ser activo y cumplir con sus obligaciones, piensa que Dios te está observando y no hay nada más ratificante que todo lo que hagamos lo hagamos como para el Señor.

Verse of the Day - October 14, 2016

Romans 12:2 (NIV) Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Read all of Romans 12

Our Daily Bread - Dying for Others

Read: 1 John 3:16–17 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 43–44; 1 Thessalonians 2

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11

I love birds, which is why I bought six caged birds and carried them home to our daughter Alice, who began to care for them daily. Then one of the birds fell ill and died. We wondered if the birds would be more likely to thrive if they were not caged. So we freed the surviving five and observed them fly away in jubilation.

Alice then pointed out, “Do you realize, Daddy, that it was the death of one bird that caused us to free the rest?”

Isn’t that what the Lord Jesus did for us? Just as one man’s sin (Adam’s) brought condemnation to the world, so one Man’s righteousness (Jesus’s) brought salvation to those who believe (Rom. 5:12–19). Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

John makes it more practical when he says, “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 John 3:16). This won’t likely mean literal death, but as we align our lives with Jesus’s example of sacrificial love, we find that we are “laying down our lives.” For instance, we might choose to deprive ourselves of material goods in order to share them with others (v. 17) or make time to be with someone who needs comfort and companionship.

Who do you need to sacrifice for today?

In what ways have others sacrificed for your well-being?

Share with us at

Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for us motivates us to sacrifice ourselves for others.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Unser Täglich Brot - Für andere sterben

Lesen: 1.Johannes 3,16-17 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Jesaja 43–44; 1.Thessalonicher 2

Ich bin der gute Hirte. Der gute Hirte lässt sein Leben für die Schafe. Johannes 10,11

Ich liebe Vögel. Deshalb kaufte ich sechs Käfigvögel und brachte sie unserer Tochter Alice mit nach Hause, die sich von da an um sie kümmerte. Doch dann wurde einer krank und starb. Wir fragten uns, ob es den Vögeln nicht besser ginge, wenn sie nicht eingesperrt wären. Deshalb ließen wir die übrigen fünf frei und sahen ihnen nach, wie sie jubelnd davonflogen.

Dann meinte Alice: „Ist dir klar, Papa, dass der Tod von einem Vogel uns dazu gebracht hat, die anderen zu befreien?“

Und hat der Herr Jesus nicht genau das für uns getan? Die Sünde eines einzigen Menschen (Adams) hat der Welt Verdammnis gebracht, aber die Gerechtigkeit eines anderen (Jesus) bringt denen, die glauben, Erlösung (Röm. 5,12-19). Jesus hat gesagt: „Ich bin der gute Hirte. Der gute Hirte lässt sein Leben für die Schafe“ (Joh. 10,11).

Johannes sagt es noch anschaulicher: „[Jesus hat] sein Leben für uns gelassen; und wir sollen auch das Leben für die Brüder lassen“ (1.Joh. 3,16). Das meint nicht unbedingt, dass wir wirklich sterben. Aber wenn wir unser Leben am Beispiel von Jesu opferbereiter Liebe ausrichten, dann „lassen“ auch wir unser Leben. So verzichten wir etwa auf materielle Güter, um sie mit anderen zu teilen (V.17), oder nehmen uns Zeit für jemanden, der Trost und Zuwendung braucht.

Für wen solltest du heute ein Opfer bringen?

Wo haben andere etwas geopfert, damit es dir gutgeht?

Jesu größtes Opfer motiviert uns, uns selbst für andere zu opfern.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Умереть за других

Читать сейчас: 1 Иоанна 3:16-17 | Библия за год: Исаия 43-44; Галатам 2

«Я – Пастырь добрый. Пастырь добрый полагает жизнь свою за овец». — Иоанна 10:11

Я люблю птиц, поэтому мы купили шесть птичек в клетках и поручили их заботе нашей дочери Алисы, с радостью принявшей эту обязанность. Но через некоторое время одна из птичек заболела и умерла. Мы задумались: а не лучше ли выпустить пернатых питомцев на волю? Может быть, в естественных условиях они проживут дольше? Так мы и сделали.

По этому поводу Алиса поделилась своими размышлениями: «Знаешь, папа, а ведь это из-за смерти одной остальные пять получили свободу».

То же сделал для нас Господь Иисус. Как грех одного человека (Адама) навлек осуждение на весь мир, так и праведность одного (Иисуса) принесла спасение всем верующим (Рим. 5:12-19). Он Сам сказал: «Я – Пастырь добрый. Пастырь добрый полагает жизнь свою за овец» (Ин. 10:11).

Иоанн переносит эту истину в практическую жизнь, говоря: «Он положил за нас душу Свою; и мы должны полагать души свои за братьев» (1 Ин. 3:16). Это необязательно означает буквальную смерть. Мы можем полагать душу за своих по вере, следуя примеру Христовой жертвенной любви. Например, можно отказаться от некоторых материальных благ, поделившись с нуждающимися (1 Ин. 3:17), или уделить время тому, кто нуждается в заботе и утешении.

Кому вы можете послужить сегодня?

Жертва Христа побуждает нас жертвовать собой ради других.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Mourir pour autrui

Lisez : 1 Jean 3.16,17 | La Bible en un an : Ésaïe 43 – 44 et 1 Thessaloniciens 2

Je suis le bon berger. Le bon berger donne sa vie pour ses brebis. Jean 10.11

J’aime les oiseaux, ce qui explique que j’ai apporté six oiseaux en cage chez Alice, notre fille, qui s’est mise à en prendre soin chaque jour. Puis un des oiseaux est tombé malade et est mort. Nous nous sommes alors demandé si les oiseaux se porteraient mieux s’ils n’étaient pas en cage. Nous avons donc libéré les cinq qui avaient survécu et les avons regardés s’éloigner à tire-d’aile tout joyeux.

Alice m’a ensuite fait remarquer ceci : « Te rends‑tu compte, papa, que c’est la mort d’un des oiseaux qui nous a poussés à libérer les autres ?

Or, n’est‑ce pas là ce que le Seigneur Jésus a fait pour nous ? Comme le péché d’un seul homme (Adam) a entraîné la condamnation du monde, ainsi la justice d’un seul Homme (Jésus) a apporté le salut à ceux qui croient en lui (RO 5.12‑19). À ce sujet, Jésus a dit : « Je suis le bon berger. Le bon berger donne sa vie pour ses brebis » (JN 10.11).

Jean l’explicite en disant que Jésus‑Christ « a donné sa vie pour nous ; nous aussi, nous devons donner notre vie pour les frères » (1 JN 3.16). Cela ne signifiera probablement pas une mort littérale, mais en nous faisant les émules du sacrifice d’amour de Jésus, nous donnons en fait notre vie. Il se pourrait, par exemple, que nous nous privions de biens matériels afin de les partager avec d’autres personnes (V. 17) ou de consacrer du temps à des gens qui ont besoin de consolation et de compagnie.

Pour qui devriez‑vous vous sacrifier aujourd’hui ?

L’ultime sacrifice de Christ nous motive à nous sacrifier pour autrui.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ