Friday, October 21, 2016

Night Light for Couples - When the Top Flies Off

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.

“Be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11

Because of our family ministry and Jim’s background as a psychologist, I sometimes wonder if people think that our marriage is somehow “different”—that we live in a dreamlike state of wedded bliss where conflict doesn’t exist. Believe me, that’s just not the case. We do our share of fussing and face the same struggles you do, whether it’s motivated by fatigue, worry about the kids, not communicating our expectations properly, or something else.

I recall an incident after we were engaged that seems funny now, but wasn’t so amusing at the time. Jim owned a 1949 Mercury convertible called “Old Red.” It was a disaster. The top wouldn’t go up or down; the electric windows didn’t work; the lights sometimes went out unexpectedly; and the engine had a habit of dying regularly. Every Sunday afternoon we took it out for a push. Worse, the front seat had springs sticking out at odd angles that snagged my clothes and made for a most uncomfortable ride. I hated that car, but Jim didn’t want to go into debt to buy a new one.

The coup de grace came the day Jim picked me up for an important job interview. I was wearing my best outfit, a black suit. As we sped down the road at fifty miles per hour, the convertible top suddenly blew off. Bits of string and canvas beat at our heads as dust flew everywhere. The remnants of the old top hooked onto the back of the car and flapped in the air like Superman’s cape.

Jim was so irritated at the car that he wouldn’t stop. He just kept barreling down the highway with the ribs of the top glistening above us. I screamed at him from under the dashboard, where I was crouched to escape the pieces of Old Red that were still flying about. Between his car falling apart and my screaming, Jim got even angrier.

Somehow we survived the day when both of us—and Old Red—blew our tops. Jim bought a newer car a few months later and, more importantly, we didn’t call off our engagement!

That’s how life is when you climb into the marvelous vehicle called marriage. You’re in for a long and wonderful ride. Expect the unexpected to happen. It will probably rattle your nerves and set you at odds with each other, and the top may even blow off every now and then. But if you share a committed love, you can survive those unexpected and unwanted conflicts. We have—for forty years now.

- 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 21, 2016

Ecclesiasticus 11:2-20
Do not praise individuals for their good looks, or loathe anyone because of appearance alone. The bee is small among flying creatures, but what it produces is the best of sweet things. Do not boast about wearing fine clothes, and do not exalt yourself when you are honored; for the works of the Lord are wonderful, and his works are concealed from humankind. Many kings have had to sit on the ground, but one who was never thought of has worn a crown. Many rulers have been utterly disgraced, and the honored have been handed over to others. Do not find fault before you investigate; examine first, and then criticize. Do not answer before you listen, and do not interrupt when another is speaking. Do not argue about a matter that does not concern you, and do not sit with sinners when they judge a case. My child, do not busy yourself with many matters; if you multiply activities, you will not be held blameless. If you pursue, you will not overtake, and by fleeing you will not escape. There are those who work and struggle and hurry, but are so much the more in want. There are others who are slow and need help, who lack strength and abound in poverty; but the eyes of the Lord look kindly upon them; he lifts them out of their lowly condition and raises up their heads to the amazement of the many. Good things and bad, life and death, poverty and wealth, come from the Lord. The Lord's gift remains with the devout, and his favor brings lasting success. One becomes rich through diligence and self-denial, and the reward allotted to him is this: when he says, "I have found rest, and now I shall feast on my goods!" he does not know how long it will be until he leaves them to others and dies. Stand by your agreement and attend to it, and grow old in your work.

Revelation 9:13-21
Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." So the four angels were released, who had been held ready for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, to kill a third of humankind. The number of the troops of cavalry was two hundred million; I heard their number. And this was how I saw the horses in my vision: the riders wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur; the heads of the horses were like lions' heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths. By these three plagues a third of humankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they inflict harm. The rest of humankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands or give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their fornication or their thefts.

Luke 10:38-42
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."

Morning Psalms

Psalm 31 In te, Domine, speravi
1   In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
2   Incline your ear to me; make haste to deliver me.
3   Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold; for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.
4   Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, for you are my tower of strength.
5   Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O LORD, O God of truth.
6   I hate those who cling to worthless idols, and I put my trust in the LORD.
7   I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy; for you have seen my affliction; you know my distress.
8   You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy; you have set my feet in an open place.
9   Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.
10   For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.
11   I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12   I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am as useless as a broken pot.
13   For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.
14   But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. I have said, "You are my God.
15   My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
16   Make your face to shine upon your servant, and in your loving-kindness save me."
17   LORD, let me not be ashamed for having called upon you; rather, let the wicked be put to shame; let them be silent in the grave.
18   Let the lying lips be silenced which speak against the righteous, haughtily, disdainfully, and with contempt.
19   How great is your goodness, O LORD! which you have laid up for those who fear you; which you have done in the sight of all for those who put their trust in you.
20   You hide them in the covert of your presence from those who slander them; you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21   Blessed be the LORD! for he has shown me the wonders of his love in a besieged city.
22   Yet I said in my alarm, "I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes." Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty when I cried out to you.
23   Love the LORD, all you who worship him; the LORD protects the faithful, but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
24   Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 35 Judica, Domine
1   Fight those who fight me, O LORD; attack those who are attacking me.
2   Take up shield and armor and rise up to help me.
3   Draw the sword and bar the way against those who pursue me; say to my soul, "I am your salvation."
4   Let those who seek after my life be shamed and humbled; let those who plot my ruin fall back and be dismayed.
5   Let them be like chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the LORD drive them away.
6   Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the LORD pursue them.
7   For they have secretly spread a net for me without a cause; without a cause they have dug a pit to take me alive.
8   Let ruin come upon them unawares; let them be caught in the net they hid; let them fall into the pit they dug.
9   Then I will be joyful in the LORD; I will glory in his victory.
10   My very bones will say, "LORD, who is like you? You deliver the poor from those who are too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them."
11   Malicious witnesses rise up against me; they charge me with matters I know nothing about.
12   They pay me evil in exchange for good; my soul is full of despair.
13   But when they were sick I dressed in sack-cloth and humbled myself by fasting.
14   I prayed with my whole heart, as one would for a friend or a brother; I behaved like one who mourns for his mother, bowed down and grieving.
15   But when I stumbled, they were glad and gathered together; they gathered against me; strangers whom I did not know tore me to pieces and would not stop.
16   They put me to the test and mocked me; they gnashed at me with their teeth.
17   O Lord, how long will you look on? rescue me from the roaring beasts, and my life from the young lions.
18   I will give you thanks in the great congregation; I will praise you in the mighty throng.
19   Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me, nor let those who hate me without a cause wink at each other.
20   For they do not plan for peace, but invent deceitful schemes against the quiet in the land.
21   They opened their mouths at me and said, "Aha! we saw it with our own eyes."
22   You saw it, O LORD; do not be silent; O Lord, be not far from me.
23   Awake, arise, to my cause! to my defense, my God and my Lord!
24   Give me justice, O LORD my God, according to your righteousness; do not let them triumph over me.
25   Do not let them say in their hearts, "Aha! just what we want!" Do not let them say, "We have swallowed him up."
26   Let all who rejoice at my ruin be ashamed and disgraced; let those who boast against me be clothed with dismay and shame.
27   Let those who favor my cause sing out with joy and be glad; let them say always, "Great is the LORD, who desires the prosperity of his servant."
28   And my tongue shall be talking of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.

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 21, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Scott B. Hayashi

Luke 10:42b (NRSV) Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.

Aging always brings loss—diminished eyesight or hearing, slower healing of wounds, less energy, and finally, death. Whether a person is rich or poor, male or female, death is inevitable.

Martha busies herself with tasks. Mary sits and listens to Jesus. He compliments Mary for choosing “the better part”—divorcing herself from the busyness of life and instead choosing to literally sit at the feet of Jesus.

A relationship with Jesus is something that can never be taken away from us—even after we may have given up our car keys, or grocery shopping, or walking unaided. No matter how old we grow, Jesus remains. And when we close our eyes for the last time and take our final breath, our time at the feet of Jesus continues. Nothing can take that away from us. Though we may lose our grip on life, Jesus still holds us fast.

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Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE GLORY OF HEAVEN

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:17-18

Suffering and persecution turn our hearts and minds to the glory that will be ours in heaven. Jesus promises a great reward in heaven to those who suffer (Matthew 5:12). Paul says above that the sufferings of the present are not worthy to be compared with the glory of the future, and Peter agreed (I Peter 1:6, 7; 4:13; 5:1-10). A Christian song when I was growing up says, “It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus.” Those that are living today as spiritual “refugees” look longingly toward the eternal home.

Hebrews chapter eleven helps us to understand the history of this. In the first part of the chapter which is the “hall of faith” we see faith examples of power, life and vitality. Then in verse thirty-five the list changes to those who lost their lives—some through horrendous persecution. Yet all were commended for their faith.
In his book The Barbarian Way, Erwin McManus comments about this:

All of them chose and walked the barbarian way, and they were blessed because they did not fall away on account of Jesus. They trusted Jesus with their lives, and they lost their lives on the journey. If you could interview any one of them, however, each would insist that even in the midst of suffering and hardship, he was most fully alive. They were not disappointed in God because they did not misunderstand who He was. They understood His call, and they chose it willingly. John the Baptist would join their number. Some barbarians survive the night in the lion’s den; others experience their darkest night and wake in eternity.[1]

RESPONSE: Today I will rejoice in the glory of heaven that awaits and makes my suffering insignificant.

PRAYER: Help me Lord to remember during the challenges I face here, that eternity with You is infinitely better.

1. Erwin McManus, The Barbarian Way (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005), p. 41.

Girlfriends in God - When Fear Rules Your Thoughts

Today’s Truth

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4, NIV)

Friend to Friend

I can be pretty wimpy sometimes. I thrive on routine, and I don’t like change. Which means I have a difficult time dealing with trials as well. Often times I just simply shut down.

But recently I faced a situation I couldn't wimp out on. I found out I was pregnant just three months after a traumatizing miscarriage. I was so unbelievably thankful for a baby I could hopefully hold earth side. However, this time I faced different complications, and the news that my baby could likely have disabilities. I found myself driving to a specialist every few weeks, feeling terrified all the time, and honestly, barely functioning.

It all felt like way too much, and I let it completely debilitate me. I didn’t face it with faith, praying and hoping in the Lord. Instead, I worried, and lost sleep, and let everything around me crumble. Yes, I prayed often for the health of my baby, but I didn’t let my faith lead me, I let fear rule my thoughts instead.

And at 29 weeks, after several long months of panic, I was told my baby was 100% healthy.

Wow, looking back I now realized how much time I wasted worrying and panicking and not trusting the Lord in His plan for all of this. But despite my lack of faith, God still used that experience in amazing ways.

He strengthened me in ways I never thought possible. He got me through, day by day, even when I thought I couldn’t make it another minute. He was with me through all of the ultrasounds, ER visits, blood tests, and scary appointments. Though I didn’t call on Him as much as I should have, He was still there, making beautiful things according to His plan.

And on May 6, late in the night, my beautiful, perfect son was born after 24 hours of hard, anxiety filled labor. It was such a visual picture of how we never know exactly what God is making of something when we’re in the middle of the trial. And oftentimes, we even doubt that anything is coming of it at all. But after all of that struggle, I was given the gift of being a stronger mama to this boy whom I love so fiercely.

Throughout my pregnancy, I had 2 Corinthians 4:18 as the wallpaper on my cell phone:

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Looking back, that was so fitting. Because we know that in the end, whether we see it or not, God is working towards finishing His work in us. Had my son had the disabilities they told me he did, I would have loved him 100% as much. But I let the fear of the unknown terrify me rather than trusting in the Lord that he had amazing, eternal plans for my son no matter what.

So if you’re facing a tough situation, and you just don’t know how any good can come out of it, know that you are trusting God who has a perfect plan and a perfect track record.

He is making beautiful things.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I know that I fail to trust you too often. I face hard times and I lose sight of what you’re doing in my life. Help me to turn to you first before letting the fear set in. Help me to turn to your word before turning to the scary thoughts in my head. Fill me with your peace and the promise that you work everything for Your good.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Keeping Scripture at the forefront of our minds during times like this is essential. What pieces of Scripture have comforted you during times of struggle?

More from the Girlfriends

I got married in 2012, at the age of 19, and found that marriage didn’t come as easily as I thought it would! My mom had been married over 20 years and felt the same way. Out of this, our marriage ministry, Nitty Gritty Love, was born. We blog about the tough things we face as wives, and how the Gospel should shape our marriages. We’re currently working on our first devotional, which will be published in early 2017.

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

Men of the Bible - Mark

His name means: "A Large Hammer"

His work: An eager journalist whose specialties were serving, following up on details, and making travel arrangements.
His character: A man who was willing to serve behind the scenes for others who were in ministry.
His sorrow: On his first major assignment as Paul and Barnabas's traveling secretary, Mark returned home, unable to finish the journey. This created a rift between Mark and Paul, as well as between Barnabas and Paul.
His triumph: Not only was the relationship breach healed, but Mark had the privilege of penning the first gospel—the good news of Jesus.
Key Scriptures: Mark 14:32-72

A Look at the Man

Just as soon as he had gathered all the information, Mark sat down and began to write. He was the first of the gospel writers*—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—to do so. As a young spectator, Mark was awestruck by Jesus. And because of his mother's influence, he was able to meet the disciples during the time of the Savior's ministry. This gave him special behind-the-scenes access, and he kept a record of what he saw.

Mark served quietly and unobtrusively. When Paul and Barnabas, Mark's cousin, traveled from Jerusalem to Antioch, they took Mark along as their assistant. When they set out for their first extensive missionary journey, again they asked him to come along. In this role, Mark advanced their trip by arranging for travel, food, and lodging. But when they got to Perga, Mark left the troupe and returned to Jerusalem, although the exact reason he left isn't known.

When Paul and Barnabas decided to revisit the cities they had traveled to on their first missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to take Mark along again. But Paul wasn't interested, so he chose Silas as his traveling companion. Barnabas asked Mark to join him on his trip to Cyprus, where he was given the chance to serve again.

The conflict between Paul and Mark was eventually healed. Ten years later Paul asked the people in Colosse to receive Mark with a welcome. In his letter from prison to Philemon, he called Mark "my fellow worker." And in Paul's final letter to his protégé, Timothy, he asked him to "bring Mark with you; he is helpful to me in my ministry."

Mark's special relationship with Simon Peter is mentioned in Peter's first letter to the new Christians scattered throughout Asia Minor. Mark must have been on the road with Peter in Rome, because Peter sent greetings to the believers from Mark and called him "my son." It was most likely during this time that Mark penned the gospel.

Traveling with Simon Peter, certainly the most zealous and emotive of the disciples, Mark reviewed his notes about Jesus' life. This, combined with his own firsthand experiences as a young man, gave him a special passion as he recalled the life of this Nazarene.

Mark's mission was to be sure that anyone reading his account would know that Jesus was the incarnate Son of God—the Messiah. The activities and miracles of Jesus were just as important to Mark as his words. The proof of his deity was in his person.

Mark followed Jesus as an observer. His perspective was real. He saw Jesus' humanity with his own eyes—exhausted (Mark 4:38), amazed (6:6), disappointed (8:12), displeased (10:14), angry (11:15-17), and sorrowful (14:34).

Moving quickly from scene to scene, Mark's account is filled with youthful impatience and urgency—"And straightway coming up out of the water"(1:10 KJV); and "At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert" (1:12).

In spite of what he saw at Gethsemane, Mark didn't give up on the possibility of the resurrection. If Jesus would really do what he implied during his ministry—conquer death—imagine what would happen!

Reflect On: Psalm 8:1–9
Praise God: For his holiness.
Offer Thanks: For his presence that fills you and his love that constrains you to follow him.
Confess: Your indifference to his power, your willingness to reduce your relationship to him to the ordinary and the mundane rather than delighting in the thrill and wonder of it all.
Ask God: To fill you with his empowering Spirit so that the gifts he has given you will be fully used for his glory.

Un Dia a la Vez - Los deseos de Dios

Ante ti, Señor, están todos mis deseos; no te son un secreto mis anhelos. Salmo 38:9

Dicen que en veintiún días algo que hacemos se convierte en hábito. Así que al buscar palabra que Dios pusiera en mi corazón para cada uno de nosotros este año, encontré veintiún deseos específicos, o principios de vida, que Dios espera de nosotros. Muchos de estos los hemos escuchado, repetido y practicado. Sin embargo, lo más importante es que cada uno de los que amamos a Dios queremos conocerle, agradarle y hacer su voluntad.

Durante los próximos veintiún días reflexionaremos en esos deseos y principios de vida y estoy segura que Dios abrirá nuestro entendimiento a fin de que logremos comprender mejor su Palabra y su corazón.

Dios mío, ayúdanos a comprender tu Palabra. Danos sabiduría y permite que cada uno de nosotros reciba la instrucción y la preparación de modo que seamos capaces de vivir como tú esperas. Que con palabras sencillas comprendamos la bendición de ser obedientes.

Señor Jesús, entregamos en tus manos estos próximos días que combinaremos con oración y ayuno.
Amén y amén.

Verse of the Day - October 21, 2016

Psalm 40:8 (NIV) I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”

Read all of Psalm 40

Our Daily Bread - Unfailing Love

Read: Lamentations 3:21–26 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 62–64; 1 Timothy 1

Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!  Psalm 63:3 nlt

On a recent airline flight the landing was a little rough, jostling us left and right down the runway. Some of the passengers were visibly nervous, but the tension broke when two little girls sitting behind me cheered, “Yeah! Let’s do that again!”

Children are open to new adventures and see life with humble, wide-eyed wonder. Perhaps this is part of what Jesus had in mind when He said that we have to “receive the kingdom of God like a little child” (Mark 10:15).

Life has its challenges and heartaches. Few knew this better than Jeremiah, who is also called “the weeping prophet.” But in the middle of Jeremiah’s troubles, God encouraged him with an amazing truth: “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lam. 3:22–23 nlt).

God’s fresh mercies can break into our lives at any moment. They are always there, and we see them when we live with childlike expectation—watching and waiting for what only He can do. Jeremiah knew that God’s goodness is not defined only by our immediate circumstances and that His faithfulness is greater than life’s rough places. Look for God’s fresh mercies today.

Lord, please help me to have the faith of a child so that I can live with expectation, always looking forward to what You will do next.

God is greater than anything that happens to us.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Unser Täglich Brot - Große Güte

Lesen: Klagelieder 3,21-26 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Jesaja 62–64; 1.Timotheus 1

Deine Güte ist besser als Leben; meine Lippen preisen dich. Psalm 63,4

Die Landung bei einem kürzlichen Flug war etwas unsanft und wir wurden auf der Landebahn ziemlich durchgeschüttelt. Einige Passagiere waren sichtlich nervös. Aber die Spannung löste sich, als zwei kleine Mädchen in der Reihe hinter mir begeistert riefen: „Das war toll! Bitte nochmal!“

Kinder lieben Abenteuer und begegnen dem Leben mit offenem, demütigem Staunen. Vielleicht hatte Jesus das vor Augen, als er sagte, wir sollten das Reich Gottes empfangen „wie ein Kind“ (Mark. 10,15).

Das Leben hat seine Probleme und Herausforderungen. Kaum einer wusste das besser als Jeremia, den man auch den „Klagepropheten“ nannte. Mitten in seinen Nöten wurde er aber mit einer erstaunlichen Wahrheit von Gott getröstet: „Die Güte des Herrn ist’s, dass wir nicht gar aus sind, seine Barmherzigkeit hat noch kein Ende, sondern sie ist alle Morgen neu, und deine Treue ist groß“ (Kl. 3,22-23).

Gottes Güte kann jeden Moment in unser Leben hereinbrechen. Sie ist immer da und wir sehen sie, wenn wir mit kindlicher Erwartung leben—darauf warten und beobachten, was nur er tun kann. Jeremia wusste, dass Gottes Güte nicht von unseren unmittelbaren Umständen abhängt und seine Treue größer ist als alle unsanften Stöße, die wir erleben. Halte heute nach seiner Barmherzigkeit Ausschau.

Herr, schenk mir Glauben, wie ein Kind ihn hat, damit ich voll Erwartung lebe und mich auf das freue, was du als Nächstes tun wirst.

Gott ist größer als alles, was uns passiert.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Неизменная любовь

Читать сейчас: Плач Иеремии 3:21-26 | Библия за год: Исаия 62-64; Ефесянам 3

Милость Твоя лучше, чем жизнь. Уста мои восхвалят Тебя. — Псалом 62:4

Во время одного из моих недавних перелетов посадка была жесткой, нас мотало из стороны в сторону. Некоторые пассажиры заметно нервничали, но напряжение спало, когда две девочки, сидевшие за мной, весело закричали: «Да! Хотим еще!»

Дети открыты для приключений и смотрят на жизнь с искренним восхищением. Возможно, на это, среди прочего, указывал Иисус, когда сказал, что Царство Божье нужно принять «как дитя» (Мк. 10:15).

Конечно, жизнь – штука непростая, полная испытаний и трудностей. Об этом хорошо знал Иеремия, которого также называют «плачущим пророком». Но во всех невзгодах Бог поддерживал его великой истиной: «По милости Господа мы не исчезли, ибо милосердие Его не истощилось: оно обновляется каждое утро» (Плач 3:22-23).

Божье обновленное милосердие может осиять нас в любую минуту. Оно всегда рядом. Мы можем видеть его, живя в детском ожидании того, что под силу только Господу. Иеремия знал, что Божья благость не зависит от мимолетных обстоятельств, и Его верность больше всех неприятностей жизни. Будем ждать Его милости.

Господь, помоги мне иметь детскую веру, чтобы жить с ожиданием, всегда глядя вперед на то, что Ты приготовил для меня.

Бог больше всего происходящего.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Un amour inépuisable

Lisez : Lamentations 3.21‑26 | La Bible en un an : Ésaïe 62 – 64 et 1 Timothée 1

Car ta bonté vaut mieux que la vie, mes lèvres célèbrent tes louanges. Psaume 63.4

Lors de l’un de mes derniers vols, l’atterrissage s’est déroulé de manière un peu chaotique. Visiblement, certains passagers étaient nerveux, mais la tension est tombée lorsque deux fillettes assises derrière moi se sont exclamées : « Yé ! Encore ! »

Les enfants sont ouverts à de nouvelles aventures et perçoivent la vie avec humilité et émerveillement. Il se peut d’ailleurs que cela explique en partie ce que Jésus voulait dire par : « [Quiconque] ne recevra pas le royaume de Dieu comme un petit enfant n’y entrera point » (MC 10.15).

La vie comporte ses défis et ses souffrances. Peu de gens le savent mieux que le savait Jérémie, surnommé « le prophète qui pleurait ». Reste que Dieu l’a encouragé au coeur même de ses difficultés en lui affirmant une vérité étonnante : « Les bontés de l’Éternel ne sont pas épuisées, ses compassions ne sont pas à leur terme ; elles se renouvellent chaque matin. Oh ! que ta fidélité est grande ! » (LA 3.22,23.)

Or, ces compassions se renouvelant sans cesse peuvent transformer notre vie à tout instant. Elles sont toujours là, et nous les discernons lorsque nous vivons dans l’expectative d’un enfant – nous attendant à ce qu’il accomplisse ce dont il est le seul capable. Jérémie savait que la bonté de Dieu ne se définit pas uniquement par notre situation actuelle et que sa fidélité transcende les creux de la vie. Cherchez donc aujourd’hui à discerner les compassions renouvelées de Dieu.

Dieu transcende tout ce qui nous arrive.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ