Monday, October 17, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Fight Fair

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.

“Remind the people… to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all.” Titus 3:1–2

Since some conflict in marriage is inevitable, learning to fight fair just might be the most important skill a couple can master. The key is to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy combat. In an unstable marriage, hostility is aimed at the partner’s soft underbelly with comments such as “You never do anything right!” “Why did I marry you in the first place?” and “You’re getting more like your mother every day!”

These offensive remarks strike at the heart of self‐worth. Healthy conflict, by contrast, focuses on the issues that cause disagreement: “It upsets me when you don’t tell me you’re going to be late for dinner,” or “I was embarrassed when you made me look foolish at the party last night.” Can you hear the difference?

Even though these approaches may be equally contentious, the first assaults the dignity of the partner, while the second addresses the source of conflict. Couples who learn this important distinction are much better prepared to work through disagreements without wounds and insults.

Just between us…
  • When we have a fight, are we more likely to attack the person and miss the problem, or to attack the problem and protect the person?
  • What did Jesus say about yielding to others when we are unfairly attacked or criticized? (See Matthew 5:38–41; Luke 6:27–31.)
  • How would doing a better job of fighting fair help our relationship?
  • How can we support each other in doing this?
Father, we need Your help to show love and respect while we resolve differences. We don’t want disagreements to hurt the relationship You’ve graciously given us. We know Your power and wisdom can be ours each day, and we humbly ask for them. Amen.
  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Daily Readings for October 17, 2016

Ecclesiasticus 4:20-5:7
Watch for the opportune time, and beware of evil, and do not be ashamed to be yourself. For there is a shame that leads to sin, and there is a shame that is glory and favor. Do not show partiality, to your own harm, or deference, to your downfall. Do not refrain from speaking at the proper moment, and do not hide your wisdom. For wisdom becomes known through speech, and education through the words of the tongue. Never speak against the truth, but be ashamed of your ignorance. Do not be ashamed to confess your sins, and do not try to stop the current of a river. Do not subject yourself to a fool, or show partiality to a ruler. Fight to the death for truth, and the Lord God will fight for you. Do not be reckless in your speech, or sluggish and remiss in your deeds. Do not be like a lion in your home, or suspicious of your servants. Do not let your hand be stretched out to receive and closed when it is time to give. Do not rely on your wealth, or say, "I have enough." Do not follow your inclination and strength in pursuing the desires of your heart. Do not say, "Who can have power over me?" for the Lord will surely punish you. Do not say, "I sinned, yet what has happened to me?" for the Lord is slow to anger. Do not be so confident of forgiveness that you add sin to sin. Do not say, "His mercy is great, he will forgive the multitude of my sins," for both mercy and wrath are with him, and his anger will rest on sinners. Do not delay to turn back to the Lord, and do not postpone it from day to day; for suddenly the wrath of the Lord will come upon you, and at the time of punishment you will perish.

Revelation 7:1-8
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on earth or sea or against any tree. I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to damage earth and sea, saying, "Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have marked the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads." And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel: From the tribe of Judah twelve thousand sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand sealed.

Luke 9:51-62
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village. As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home." Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

Morning Psalms

Psalm 25 Ad te, Domine, levavi
1   To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; my God, I put my trust in you; let me not be humiliated, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
2   Let none who look to you be put to shame; let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
3   Show me your ways, O LORD, and teach me your paths.
4   Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.
5   Remember, O LORD, your compassion and love, for they are from everlasting.
6   Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; remember me according to your love and for the sake of your goodness, O LORD.
7   Gracious and upright is the LORD; therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
8   He guides the humble in doing right and teaches his way to the lowly.
9   All the paths of the LORD are love and faithfulness to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
10   For your Name's sake, O LORD, forgive my sin, for it is great.
11   Who are they who fear the LORD? he will teach them the way that they should choose.
12   They shall dwell in prosperity, and their offspring shall inherit the land.
13   The LORD is a friend to those who fear him and will show them his covenant.
14   My eyes are ever looking to the LORD, for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
15   Turn to me and have pity on me, for I am left alone and in misery.
16   The sorrows of my heart have increased; bring me out of my troubles.
17   Look upon my adversity and misery and forgive me all my sin.
18   Look upon my enemies, for they are many, and they bear a violent hatred against me.
19   Protect my life and deliver me; let me not be put to shame, for I have trusted in you.
20   Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for my hope has been in you.
21   Deliver Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 9 Confitebor tibi
1   I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all your marvelous works.
2   I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing to your Name, O Most High.
3   When my enemies are driven back, they will stumble and perish at your presence.
4   For you have maintained my right and my cause; you sit upon your throne judging right.
5   You have rebuked the ungodly and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
6   As for the enemy, they are finished, in perpetual ruin, their cities plowed under, the memory of them perished;
7   But the LORD is enthroned for ever; he has set up this throne for judgment.
8   It is he who rules the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with equity.
9   The LORD will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in time of trouble.
10   Those who know your Name will put their trust in you, for you never forsake those who seek you, O LORD.
11   Sing praise to the LORD who dwells in Zion; proclaim to the peoples the things he has done.
12   The Avenger of blood will remember them; he will not forget the cry of the afflicted.
13   Have pity on me, O LORD; see the misery I suffer from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gate of death;
14   So that I may tell of all your praises and rejoice in your salvation in the gates of the city of Zion.
15   The ungodly have fallen into the pit they dug, and in the snare they set is their own foot caught.
16   The LORD is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are trapped in the works of their own hands.
17   The wicked shall be given over to the grave, and also all the people that forget God.
18   For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish for ever.
19   Rise up, O LORD, let not the ungodly have the upper hand; let them be judged before you.
20   Put fear upon them, O LORD; let the ungodly know they are but mortal.

Psalm 15 Domine, quis habitabit?
1   LORD, who may dwell in your tabernacle? who may abide upon your holy hill?
2   Whoever leads a blameless life and does what is right, who speaks the truth from his heart.
3   There is no guile upon his tongue; he does no evil to his friend; he does not heap contempt upon his neighbor.
4   In his sight the wicked is rejected, but he honors those who fear the LORD.
5   He has sworn to do no wrong and does not take back his word.
6   He does not give his money in hope of gain, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
7   Whoever does these things shall never be overthrown.

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 17, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Scott B. Hayashi

Revelation 7:4 (NRSV) And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel.

Some of us find it easy to be swept away by the Sturm und Drang we find in Revelation. But what about all the amazing things—giant parties, deep rejoicing, the hymn-sing to end all hymn-sings? These things are in Revelation too. And we would do well to remember this.

The sheer number of people John reports seeing gathered around the throne of the Lamb would have seemed impossible to the men and women of the first-century church. Reporting these kinds of numbers for any given Sunday in any mainline denomination in any city today might seem like an unimaginable, miraculous, inexplicably large and generous head count too.

But we are in the business of serving a God who divides the day from the night, who makes water into wine, who raises what was dead to new life, and who turns sinners into saints. And we would do well to remember this too.

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 - VALUE DOUBTS AND MYSTERY

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

This is a scripture passage that many use in discipling new believers. The New International Version of the Bible footnotes this verse with the reminder that in the Greek language the word “temptation” or “tempted” can also mean “trial” or “testing.” It is a characteristic of the human condition that we often have doubts about God and we feel badly about them. But the story of Job in the Old Testament reveals that we should value our doubts because they bring God close.

Co-worker Ron Boyd-MacMillan tells the story of a missionary to Tibet at the time of the Communist takeover in China. He was imprisoned on the charge of being a counter-revolutionary. Every day for three years he thought he was going to be executed—a strain that ultimately broke him.

Daily he was taken outside and made to kneel down. They put a hood over his head and stated they were going to execute him. Then when he thought he was a goner, they pulled off the hood and laughed at his fear.

He was deprived of sleep and light; often placed in cells with hundreds of screaming people; demanded to renounce his Christian faith—all tactics of psychological torture. He said, “All I had were doubts: whether God was with me; whether God still loved me; even if was truly a Christian since I was so broken…I was raised never to question God and that doubt was a sin.”

One day wanting to die, he finally prayed and said, “Lord, I have to talk about my doubts to you. I’m sorry it’s all I have to talk about. But I just want to be in touch with you again.”

That night he felt a warm breath in the dungeon, a comforting sweet breath. And he said, “I learned that nothing must keep me from talking to God. I knew from that breath that He even wants to know about my doubts.

Then he was taken to another cell which had a window and he saw the beauty of a colorful sunset. He wept. It was a picture God had drawn in majestic colors with the black ring of mountains in the distance looking like a crown of thorns. He commented, “The colorful sunset told me Jesus is still in charge…The world may be full of human suffering but it is more full of God’s beauty and grace. That got me through. I took my doubts to God and realized His beauty. The next time they took me to a mock execution I knelt and thanked God for the sunset I had seen. My sunset from my God! And when they took off the hood they saw no more fear—only a man at peace ready to die and meet his God.

RESPONSE: Today I will talk to God even about my doubts, trusting Him to help me sense His loving presence.

PRAYER: Thank You God that we can value doubt and we can value mystery assured that You still love us and care for us.

Women of the Bible - Joanna

Her name means: "The Lord Gives Graciously"

Her character: A woman of high rank in Herod's court, she experienced healing at Jesus' hands. She responded by giving herself totally, supporting his ministry, and following him wherever he went. The story of her healing may have been known to Herod himself.
Her joy: To find the tomb empty except for the angels who proclaimed Jesus alive.
Key Scriptures: Luke 8:1-3; 24:10 (and Matthew 14:1-12 and Luke 23:7-12 for background on Herod and his court)

Her Story

Joanna was a wealthy woman, accustomed to an atmosphere of worldliness. One didn't live in Herod Antipas's courts without learning to navigate the powerful currents of intrigue that swirled continuously around his throne. But nothing had so troubled and sickened her as the death of the prophet John. A holy man murdered for speaking the plain truth, his head was carried to Herodias on a platter, like a tantalizing dish to satisfy her appetite for revenge. How sad she had been as she watched Jesus grieving his cousin's murder.

Joanna's own life had been so altered by Christ that she may have hoped to influence Herod on his behalf. Married to Cuza, the manager of Herod's vast estates, she was well-positioned for the task. How intently Herod would have listened as she recounted the details of her miraculous healing. But after John's death, Joanna must have wondered what would become of Jesus should he ever have the misfortune of falling into Herod's hands. And what, for that matter, would become of his followers?

Though Joanna would have realized the escalating risks that faith required, there is not the slightest evidence she flinched from them. Unlike Nicodemus, she made no effort to hide her admiration for Jesus. Along with other women, she provided for his needs from her own purse. Perhaps her gifts made it just a little easier on this teacher who had no place to lay his head (Matthew 8:20).

All we really know of Joanna, in addition to her status as Cuza's wife, is that Jesus cured her of some spiritual or physical malady, that she was among a group of women who traveled with Jesus and his disciples, that she supported his ministry out of her own means, and that she was present at Jesus' resurrection along with Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James. Whether her faith cost her dearly or little in either her marriage or at court is a matter for speculation.

Joanna was probably among the women present at the crucifixion. And like the others who went to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body, she must have fallen on her face in awe of the angels who greeted her with astonishing news: "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' "

She would have run with the others to tell the disciples of the incredible discovery. Though Peter and the other disciples discounted the story as the ravings of hysterical women, Joanna would hardly have doubted herself. For she was a woman who lived in an atmosphere of power, and she had just witnessed a far greater power than Herod's. She would have recognized it as the same power that had healed her.

It didn't matter that her husband served a man opposed to Christ; Joanna knew where her allegiance belonged. A woman of high rank, she became part of the intimate circle of Christ's followers, casting her lot with fishermen and poor people rather than with the rich and the powerful. God honored her by making her one of the first witnesses of the resurrection.

Her Promise

Joy comes in the morning. Joanna discovered this in a miraculous way on Jesus' resurrection day. She went to his tomb expecting to minister to his dead body and to grieve. Instead, her sorrow turned to tremendous joy. Our joy may not come this morning or tomorrow morning or even the morning after that. We face too many hardships, too many difficult situations, too much sorrow here on earth to think joy will arrive with each morning. But it will come. He has promised. At the end of the day, at the end of this life, there will be a joyful morning for all who trust in him.

Girlfriends in God - Take What’s Yours

by Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own (Philippians 3:12 AMPC).

Friend to Friend

Have you stepped out in faith—fully trusting in God, but then began to stumble—errantly depending on yourself? That’s what happened to the children of Israel when it came time to take the Promised Land.
Moses led the people under the bloodstained doorframes of the Passover, across the dry land of the Red Sea, and to the front door of the Promised Land. He guided them with a fire by night and a cloud by day. God took care of their needs and brought victory over every enemy they faced. And yet, when it came time to march into the Promised Land, the land that was theirs for the taking, they cowered in unbelief.

“Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites,” God instructed Moses. So Moses sent twelve spies to scout out the land. When they returned, ten gave the following report:

“We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there…” (Numbers 13:27-28)

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size … We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:30-33)

The twelve spies were not sent into the land to access the problematic obstacles. They were sent into the land to take a peek at the promised blessings and bring back a sampling of its richness. This was not meant to be an exploratory mission to case the joint. Their names were already on the title deed. It was supposed to be a trip to get the folks stoked about the promises that waited just beyond the wall.

Sending in the twelve spies was supposed to be the denouement of the story—the final part of the narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and the climax of a chain of events occurs. Instead, the story took a nosedive.

“But the people who live there …”

Whenever we add a “but” to the promise, we’re in trouble. And they were in trouble. Oswald Chambers notes,

Human frailty is another thing that gets between God’s words of assurance and our own words and thoughts. When we realize how feeble we are in facing difficulties, the difficulties become giants, we become like grasshoppers, and God seems to be non-existent. But remember God’s assurance to us: “I will never … forsake you.” Have we learned to sing after hearing God’s keynote? Are we continually filled with enough courage to say, “The Lord is my Helper,” or are we yielding to fear?

Guess who the people believed? They believed the ten spies who said, “we can’t” rather then the two who said, “we can because God already has.” They believed the wrong report.

All night the unbelieving Israelites cried and wanted to go back to Egypt, while Caleb and Joshua tried their best to convince them to move forward and live bold.

“The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Numbers 14:7–9)

No matter what Joshua and Caleb said, the people refused to believe. They had the opportunity to go into the land, but not the faith to possess the promise. I cringe at those words wondering how many times they have been true of me. I mourn the opportunities not taken because I lacked the faith to possess the promise.
Because they feared the battle, they lost the blessing. They clung to the cul-de-sac safety of the wilderness and preferred its riskless tedium to the adventurous boldness of believing God. The sin of unbelief sabotaged God’s perfect plan—just like it can in your life, in my life.

Instead of taking hold of what was already theirs, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness of unbelief for the rest of their lives. That entire generation died in their stiff-necked refusal to believe, except for Caleb and Joshua. They were one in a million. That’s what I want to be. I’m thinking you do too.

So here’s my question to you: Whose report are you going to believe? Are you going to believe God’s Word is true—that you are who God says you are and God will do what He says He will do? Or are you going to believe the naysayers who say “you can’t,” “you won’t,” “you never will”? Are you going to listen to the voice of fear that says, “I can’t do it,” or are you going to believe the voice of God that says, “I already have”?

Let’s Pray

Lord, I get so frustrated with myself sometimes. I start out believing that You can do what You say You can do through me, and then I take my eyes off of You and onto myself. You know what happens. I get fearful. I start to doubt if I heard You right. Lord, help me to keep my eyes on You and not on myself. Help me to walk in the power and strength that is mine through the Holy Spirit. Help me to take hold of all that Jesus has taken hold of for me and placed in me…my Promised Land.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Evangelist Leonard Ravenhill said, “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.” Is there anything that God has told you to do that you’ve been dragging your feet to do?

If so, what are you going to do about that?

Ponder this sentence today: The sin of unbelief sabotages God’s perfect plan.

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion came from my latest book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. It’s all about how to get unstuck in your faith. Learn how to let go of all that holds you hostage to a “less than” life, and take hold of all that Jesus has done for you and placed in you…the faith you’ve always longed for. Check it out at where you can download a free chapter and watch a video book trailer. The book also comes with a Bible study guide.

Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

Un Dia a la Vez - Influye con amor

Alégrense y llénense de júbilo, porque les espera una gran recompensa en el cielo. Mateo 5:12

Nosotros no estamos en este mundo para impresionar a nadie, mucho menos para impresionar a Dios. Estamos en este mundo con un propósito específico. ¡Qué bueno sería que cada uno lo pueda encontrar como es debido!

Durante varios años, sobre todo en la adolescencia, es común preguntarse: «¿Qué hago en este mundo? ¿Por qué estoy aquí?». Yo también me hice esas preguntas y nunca hubo respuestas, al menos una que me convenciera. No fue hasta que conocí de Jesús que pude entender mi propósito y trato de cumplirlo al pie de la letra.

Hace unos cuatro años surgió un deseo en un sinnúmero de personas por conocer el propósito de Dios para sus vidas. Entonces, cuando apareció el libro Una vida con propósito, de Rick Warren, muchos lo entendieron. Este libro enseguida rompió los récords de venta y, aún hoy, sigue siendo uno de los más vendidos. ¡Qué cantidad de testimonios llegó a mis oídos! La gente me decía, y me sigue diciendo, que ese libro transformó su vida.

Gracias le doy a Dios por libros como ese que llevan la verdad clara y directa que transforman vidas. Quizá tú aún no lo has leído y estás en esa búsqueda, pues te lo recomiendo.

Tú y yo también debemos llevarle la Palabra a toda criatura de modo que encuentre el verdadero propósito para su vida. Por lo tanto, proclamemos su mensaje con el amor y la misericordia que solo encontramos en Dios.

¿Qué estás haciendo para influir en otros? Recuerda que tu premio no está en la tierra, sino en el cielo.

Verse of the Day - October 17, 2016

Psalm 25:14-15 (NIV) The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.

Read all of Psalm 25

Our Daily Bread - Do We Have To?

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:12–28 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 50–52; 1 Thessalonians 5

Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16

Joie started the children’s program with prayer, then sang with the kids. Six-year-old Emmanuel squirmed in his seat when she prayed again after introducing Aaron, the teacher. Then Aaron began and ended his talk with prayer. Emmanuel complained: “That’s four prayers! I can’t sit still that long!”

If you think Emmanuel’s challenge is difficult, look at 1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray continually” or always be in a spirit of prayer. Even some of us adults can find prayer to be boring. Maybe that’s because we don’t know what to say or don’t understand that prayer is a conversation with our Father.

Back in the seventeenth century, François Fénelon wrote some words about prayer that have helped me: “Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them.” He continued, “Talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them: show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them . . . . If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say.”

May we grow in our intimacy with God so that we will want to spend more time with Him.

For further study, read about Jesus’s example of prayer in John 17 and Luke 5:16.

Prayer is an intimate conversation with our God.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Unser Täglich Brot - Muss das sein?

Lesen: 1.Thessalonicher 5,12-18 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Jesaja 50–52; 1.Thessalonicher 5

[Jesus] aber zog sich zurück in die Wüste und betete. (Lukas 5,16)

Die Kinderstunde begann mit einem Gebet und einem Lied. Nach der Vorstellung von Aaron, dem Bibellehrer, betete die Leiterin noch einmal. Der sechsjährige Emmanuel wurde unruhig. Auch Aaron begann und schloss mit einem Gebet. Da platzte es aus Emmanuel heraus: „Das waren jetzt vier Gebete! So lange kann ich nicht stillsitzen!“

Wenn es dir geht wie Emmanuel, dann lies einmal 1.Thessalonicher 5,17: „Betet ohne Unterlass“ oder anders: Sei immer in einer Haltung des Gebets. Dabei finden selbst wir Erwachsenen das Beten manchmal langweilig. Vielleicht, weil wir nicht wissen, was wir sagen sollen, oder noch nicht begriffen haben, dass Beten ein Gespräch mit unserem Vater ist.

François Fénelon schrieb im siebzehnten Jahrhundert ein paar Worte über das Gebet, die mir geholfen haben: „Sage Gott alles, was in deinem Herzen ist, so, wie man einem guten Freund sein Herz ausschüttet . . . Sag ihm, was dich quält, damit er dich trösten kann; sag ihm deine Freuden, damit er dich ernüchtern kann; sag ihm dein Verlangen, damit er es reinigen kann.“ Und weiter: „Sprich zu ihm von deinen Anfechtungen, damit er dich davor schützen kann; zeig ihm die Wunden deines Herzens, damit er sie heilen kann . . . Wenn du so deine Schwäche, alle deine Not, deine Ängste vor ihm ausbreitest, dann wird es dir nicht an Worten mangeln.“

Je näher wir bei Gott sind, desto mehr Zeit wollen wir mit ihm verbringen.

Wenn du mehr über das Beten wissen willst, dann lies in Johannes 17 und Lukas 5,16, wie Jesus gebetet hat.

Beten ist ein persönliches Gespräch mit unserem Gott.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Слишком тяжело?

автор: Анн Ситас

Читать сейчас: 1 Фессалоникийцам 5:12-28 | Библия за год: Исаия 50-52; Галатам 5

Он уходил в пустынные места и молился. — Луки 5:16

Джои начала урок в Воскресной школе с молитвы. Потом они с детьми спели песенку. После этого она представила нового учителя по имени Аарон и предложила помолиться за него. Шестилетний Эммануил нетерпеливо заерзал на своем месте. А уж когда Аарон начал и закончил свою беседу молитвой, малыш не выдержал: «Целых четыре молитвы! Это много, я не выдерживаю!»

Если вы думаете, что это много, вспомните, что пишет Павел: «Непрестанно молитесь» (1 Фес. 5:17), то есть всегда будьте настроены на молитву. Даже многие взрослые находят молитву утомительным занятием. Возможно, это потому, что они не знают, что сказать, или не понимают, что молитва – это общение с Небесным Отцом.

В XVII в. Франсуа Фенелон написал о молитве слова, которые в свое время помогли мне: «Расскажите Богу обо всем, что лежит у вас на сердце, так, как человек раскрывает свою радость и боль дорогому другу. Расскажите Ему о своих бедах, чтобы Он утешил вас. Расскажите Ему о радостях, чтобы Он отрезвил вас. Расскажите о желаниях, чтобы Он очистил их. Расскажите о неприязни, чтобы Он помог преодолеть ее. Поговорите с Ним об искушениях, чтобы Он уберег вас от них. Покажите Ему раны вашего сердца, чтобы Он исцелил их… Если вы изольете перед Ним все свои немощи, нужды, заботы, то у вас не будет недостатка в том, что сказать».

Будем возрастать в общении с Богом, чтобы время молитвы стало для нас особенно драгоценным.

Для дальнейшего изучения прочитайте о примере Иисуса Христа: Иоанна 17 и Луки 5:16.

Молитва – это общение с Богом.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Y sommes‑nous obligés ?

Lisez : 1 Thessaloniciens 5.12‑28 | La Bible en un an : Ésaïe 50 – 52 et 1 Thessaloniciens 5

Et lui [Jésus], il se retirait dans les déserts, et priait. (Luc 5.16)

Joie a démarré le programme pour enfants dans la prière, puis a chanté avec ses tout‑petits. Emmanuel, six ans, s’est agité sur sa chaise lorsqu’elle a prié après avoir présenté Aaron, le professeur. Puis Aaron a commencé et terminé son exposé en prière. Emmanuel s’en est alors plaint : « Ça fait quatre prières ! Je peux pas rester sans bouger aussi longtemps ! »

Si vous croyez que le défi qu’Emmanuel doit relever est difficile, lisez 1 Thessaloniciens 5.17 : « Priez sans cesse » ou ayez toujours l’esprit en prière. Il nous arrive même adultes de trouver la prière ennuyeuse. Peut‑être parce que nous ignorons quoi dire ou ne comprenons pas qu’il s’agit d’une simple conversation avec notre Père.

Au xviie siècle, François Fénelon a parlé quelque peu de prières qui lui sont venues en aide : « Dites à Dieu tout ce que vous avez dans le coeur, comme si vous confiiez vos plaisirs et vos chagrins à un ami intime. Racontez‑lui vos problèmes, afin qu’il vous console ; racontez‑lui vos joies, afin qu’il les tempère ; racontez‑lui vos désirs, afin qu’il les purifie. » Puis il a ajouté : « Parlez‑lui de vos tentations, afin qu’il vous en protège ; montrez‑lui les blessures de votre coeur, afin qu’il les guérisse. […] Si vous lui livrez ainsi toutes vos faiblesses, tous vos besoins et tous vos problèmes, vous aurez toujours des choses à lui dire. »

Puissions‑nous grandir dans notre intimité avec Dieu, de sorte que nous désirions passer plus de temps avec lui.

La prière est une conversation intime avec notre Dieu.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ