Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Body and Spirit

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.

“Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31

In addition to society’s obsession with physical beauty, women face other obstacles to maintaining confidence, including disrespect for wives and mothers who have chosen the traditional homemaking role. Furthermore, many wives, especially mothers of small children, feel isolated at home. Their husbands are physically and emotionally “elsewhere,” pursuing careers, hobbies, or both. The result is often devastating, as women tend to derive their sense of self‐worth from the emotional closeness achieved through relationships.

So what’s the solution? We encourage you as the husband to be present with your wife in body and spirit. Set aside time for her. Listen to her. Romance her. Show her she’s still your one‐and‐only sweetheart. On the other hand, don’t expect to fill all of her emotional needs. Encourage her to develop meaningful friendships with other women and reach out to others in your community.

“Honor one another above yourselves.” This simple phrase from the Bible (Romans 12:10) is the key to affirming the infinite worth of your spouse.

Just between us…
  • (husband) When you’re with other people, do you sometimes think,
“They wouldn’t like me if they really knew who I am?”
  • (husband) Do you feel that I’m “present with you,” or do I often seem preoccupied?
  • (husband) What can I do to build your confidence this week?
  • (husband) How can I support you in establishing friendships?
(husband) Dear God, thank You for the great worth You see in my wife. I see it, too, and I want to honor and cherish her more every day. Help me to bless her and make her strong in this way. Amen.
  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - BOLDER AND FEARLESS

And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. Philippians 1:14

The Apostle Paul indicates that another reason why the gospel was actually advancing during his imprisonment was the bold courageous witness of other believers who had lost their fear.

Two Chinese itinerant evangelists who carried Christian books with them were arrested in Anhui Province during their ministry. The Public Security Bureau (PSB) put them in jail and beat them. The guard beat the face of one until it bled and then took his shoes away in the cold of winter. Then they poured cold water on him throughout the winter. He became deformed from the harsh treatment. Both were kept in jail for six months.

They had led two people to the Lord in that prison location before they were arrested, and when they were released from jail after six months, there were over one hundred new Christians in the area from the seeds that these men had planted. The two people that they led to the Lord spread the message to others. The work grew even while the itinerant evangelists were in prison.

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, fourteen Christians continued their witness while in prison by reading scripture aloud. By the time they were released, they had read through the entire New Testament and forty-four inmates professed faith in Jesus Christ.

Pedro Pablo Castillo shares a similar situation in Nicaragua where half of the four thousand political prisoners became Christians. On the eve of their release, they prayed, sang and read scripture to celebrate their pardon. Castillo returned to the jail to urge them to let Christ shine in their lives whether in jail or outside.

We shared earlier about Pastor Tu in Vietnam—leader of the fastest growing house church network. Pastor Tu spent three years in prison for his evangelistic ministry. When he was released, he found his house church network had grown three hundred percent during his imprisonment years.

I received a Christmas card from him the following year that read: “…God greatly gives our church 20,203 more new believers this year. Hallelujah!”

RESPONSE: God’s kingdom will advance when I overcome my fear and become a bold and courageous witness to the power of the gospel.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to trust You fully and become a dynamic force in boldly advancing the growth of Your church.

Girlfriends in God - Finding Strength For Your Struggle

by Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. (Exodus 15:2)

Friend to Friend

Moses faced complicated challenges and circumstances. Born in a time when he, as a Hebrew baby, was supposed to have been killed, Moses was saved by God’s sovereign grace when Pharaoh’s daughter pulled him from the Nile and kept him as her own.

A Hebrew among Egyptians, Moses was raised in a land and culture that was far removed from his heritage and from the One true God of Israel. You know this story! We saw it on the flannel graph boards in Sunday school as little girls. We watched Charlton Heston act it out in the movie The Ten Commandments. Moses had it all in the palace, lost it all when he murdered an Egyptian soldier, then eventually, risked it all for the holy God who called out to him and commissioned him from a flame.

Moses set out to free his people through the power of God. Though the Pharaoh doubted God’s strength, the Lord displayed His might, plague after plague, until finally it looked like Pharaoh got the memo. At last he let God’s people go. Moses and the Israelites left Egypt promptly and high-tailed it down the road of divine deliverance. But when Pharaoh changed his mind and gathered his army to chase them, the Israelites ran smack dab up against the Red Sea.

Major problem.

Not one to be hindered by impossibility, the Lord took care of business in a huge and powerful way. He parted and held back the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites so they could escape destruction and experience deliverance. After His people crossed over safely, God again demonstrated His strength by sweeping the Pharaoh and his army into the sea, killing every last one of them (Exodus 13 and 14).

My goodness. What a story! What. A. God! If this doesn’t get you excited about the strength of God, I’m not quite sure what will!

“Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses” (Exodus 14:31).

Then a big ol’ party went down as Moses and the Israelites sang to the Lord a song that’s commonly referred to as the Song of Moses.

The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2)

In Exodus 15, Moses calls God his Strength and celebrates the power that brought salvation to his people.

The Bible reveals many names that highlight the power of our God; El Sali is a Hebrew name meaning “God of my Strength; God my Rock.” King David also calls God his Strength, El Sali, in Psalm 59:9: “O my Strength, I watch for you; you, O God, are my fortress.” Then again in verse 17, “O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.”

Elohei Ma’uzzi is another Hebrew name meaning “the God of my Strength.” As David sang, “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (2 Samuel 22:33).

Got any complicated challenges and circumstances right now?

Perhaps you find yourself lamenting to the God of Strength, El Sali, wondering why you’ve been forgotten and why you feel weak.

Maybe things are good for you right now, but you know of others who have encountered shadows along their roads of deliverance.

Each of us is guaranteed life challenges, but God promises to be our strength when we call on Him. He is not puffed up and powerless. He is El Sali, the God of Strength who loves you and longs to move in and through your life.

Will you trust Him more deeply and allow Him to be your strength today?

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, my Strength, El Sali, You are powerful and loving. Thank you for allowing me—this average, ordinary girl with complicated relationships and difficult circumstances—to have access to Your perfect Strength when I am weak. Help me to trust You when all my heart sees is fear.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read the first half of Psalm 84:5: Blessed are those whose strength is in you. To whom is this comment directed? In what ways has this been true in your life?

Where do you find yourself with this topic? Let’s have a community discussion on the wall of my blog and encourage one another today.

More from the Girlfriends

TWO DAY GIVEAWAY: Get a FREE Uncluttered CD when you purchase the Girlfriends in God book, Knowing God by Name. ONLY from the store at GwenSmith.net.

Today’s GiG devotion is adapted from Knowing God by Name by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, & Mary Southerland by permission of Multnomah, division of Random House, Inc.

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Un Dia a la Vez - Jesús y el ayuno

Cuando ores, entra en tu aposento, y cerrada la puerta, ora a tu Padre que está en secreto; y tu Padre que ve en lo secreto te recompensará en público. Mateo 6:6, RV-60

Comenzamos un nuevo mes y una enseñanza más de nuestros veintiún días en los que recordamos lo que Dios dejó escrito en su Palabra para que lo entendamos y le podamos obedecer.

Tanto con la oración como con la ofrenda, Jesús nos hace la misma observación. Nos pide que lo hagamos en privado, sin ser llamativos y escandalosos, pues lo que hacemos es para el Señor y no para los hombres.

El ayuno es una oportunidad que tenemos para estar en verdadera comunión con Dios. Además, tiene poder y un gran valor para nuestro Padre celestial. En esos días de ayuno casi siempre hay peticiones específicas que ponemos delante de Dios y es impresionante cómo responde Él. Esto lo comprobamos en los testimonios que son poderosos de verdad.

Sin embargo, el día que ayunes, lo único que te pide Dios es que no lo estés divulgando. Porque si lo haces, te considerarán un hipócrita. ¿Sabes? Con solo de imaginarme que Dios piense de mí que soy una hipócrita, ya me hace ser obediente. Por eso quiero y trato de agradarle.

Verse of the Day - November 01, 2016

Ephesians 1:18 (NIV) I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,

Read all of Ephesians 1

The Daily Readings for November 1, 2016 - All Saints Day

Daniel 7:1-3, 7:15-18
In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head as he lay in bed. Then he wrote down the dream: I, Daniel, saw in my vision by night the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, and four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified me. I approached one of the attendants to ask him the truth concerning all this. So he said that he would disclose to me the interpretation of the matter: "As for these four great beasts, four kings shall arise out of the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever-- forever and ever."

Psalm 149 Cantate Domino
1   Hallelujah! Sing to the LORD a new song; sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
2   Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
3   Let them praise his Name in the dance; let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
4   For the LORD takes pleasure in his people and adorns the poor with victory.
5   Let the faithful rejoice in triumph; let them be joyful on their beds.
6   Let the praises of God be in their throat and a two-edged sword in their hand;
7   To wreak vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples;
8   To bind their kings in chains and their nobles with links of iron;
9   To inflict on them the judgment decreed; this is glory for all his faithful people. Hallelujah!

Ephesians 1:11-23
In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory. I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Luke 6:20-31
Then he looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. "Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. "But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. "Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. "Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. "Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets. "But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

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 November 1, 2016 - All Saints Day

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Richelle Thompson

Luke 6:20 (NRSV) Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”

She offered the gift in a plastic grocery bag. Money is tight this year, so we decided to give our friends what we had. She smiled apologetically. Inside the bag was five pounds of beef wrapped in butcher paper. And I came to our appointment empty-handed. I didn’t have a present; it didn’t occur to me to bring one.

Our relationship is customer and service provider—I visit her every six weeks or so, and she works her magic. Our conversations are easy and deep, though we have little in common on the surface: She grew up the last child in a big family, with an alcoholic father who left when she was an infant. Pregnant early, divorced from an abusive husband, estranged from her daughter and son, she is a woman of deep and abiding faith who thanks God often in our conversations and wrestles with God’s plan for her life. I am solidly middle class, with a husband and two children, a dog, a horse, and a rabbit, living in a nice house in a good neighborhood.

Jesus reminds us that poverty does not determine generosity, that the poor have much to offer, and the saints of God often come from the least expected places.

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

The Liturgical Calendar: All Saints

Today the church remembers All Saints.

Our English word "saint," derived from the Latin sanctus, is used in a variety of ways. Literally it means holy, set apart for God, consecrated, or dedicated. In the New Testament, hagios, the Greek word for saint, is used to refer to all baptized Christians, many of whom were far from exemplary. Paul sometimes scolded the saints for their corrupt and decadent ways.

When we use the word saint in the context of All Saints's Day, we refer especially to those Christians who have lived such hallowed lives, yielding so fully to the Holy Spirit, showing such love for God and his human creatures, that their examples are treasured and emulated. These individuals, a few of whom are remembered in this book, are the champions of Christ and his church and the heroes of the faithful.

In medieval times the Roman Catholic Church developed an elaborate system called cannonization for designating and selecting the saints. The Eastern Orthodox and Anglican Churches have been much less systematic in deciding who would be called a saint. Virtually all Christians acknowledge that it is ultimately God who decides who his holy ones are and none of our judgments or acclamations presume to make such decisions for him. Our intention is rather to share and rejoice in the knowledge of those who have done good things in his name in all times and places.

Help us to take seriously our own vocation as saints, as the holy ones of God. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Our Daily Bread - Run to Me

Read: Proverbs 18:4–12 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 24–26; Titus 2

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

During a walk at a local park, my children and I encountered a couple of unleashed dogs. Their owner didn’t seem to notice that one of them had begun to intimidate my son. My son tried to shoo the dog away, but the animal only became more intent on bothering him.

Eventually, my son panicked. He bolted several yards into the distance, but the dog pursued him. The chase continued until I yelled, “Run to me!” My son doubled back, calmed down, and the dog finally decided to make mischief somewhere else.

There are moments in our lives when God calls to us and says, “Run to Me!” Something troubling is on our heels. The faster and farther we go, the more closely it pursues us. We can’t shake it. We’re too afraid to turn and confront the trouble on our own. But the reality is that we aren’t on our own. God is there, ready to help and comfort us. All we have to do is turn away from whatever scares us, and move in His direction. His Word says, “The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Prov. 18:10).

Dear Jesus, You are the Prince of Peace. I need the kind of peace that only You can give. Help me to turn to You when I am troubled.

When has God given you peace? Share your story with your friends at Facebook.com/ourdailybread

God is our refuge in times of trouble.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Unser Täglich Brot - Lauf zu mir

Lesen: Sprüche 18,4-12 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Jeremia 24–26; Titus 2

Der Name des Herrn ist eine feste Burg; der Gerechte läuft dorthin und wird beschirmt. (Sprüche 18,10)

Ich ging mit meinen Kindern im Park spazieren, als uns ein paar Hunde begegneten, die nicht angeleint waren. Ihr Besitzer schien nicht zu merken, dass einer von ihnen meinen Sohn belästigte. Mein Sohn versuchte ihn abzuwehren, aber dadurch wurde der Hund nur noch angriffslustiger.

Schließlich geriet mein Sohn in Panik. Er lief davon, aber der Hund rannte hinter ihm her. Er blieb ihm dicht auf den Fersen, bis ich rief: „Lauf zu mir!“ Mein Sohn machte auf dem Absatz kehrt. Er beruhigte sich und der Hund beschloss, sich anderswo zu vergnügen.

Es gibt Momente im Leben, in denen auch Gott uns zuruft: „Lauf zu mir!“ Irgendeine Sorge verfolgt uns. Je schneller und weiter wir ihr entfliehen wollen, desto hartnäckiger verfolgt sie uns. Wir können sie nicht abschütteln. Aber wir haben Angst, uns umzudrehen und uns dem Problem zu stellen. Dabei müssen wir es gar nicht allein tun. Gott ist da und will uns helfen und trösten. Wir müssen uns nur von dem, was uns gerade Angst macht, abwenden und in seine Richtung gehen. Sein Wort sagt: „Der Name des Herrn ist eine feste Burg; der Gerechte läuft dorthin und wird beschirmt“ (Spr. 18,10).

Lieber Herr, du bist der Friedefürst. Ich brauche einen Frieden, wie nur du ihn geben kannst. Hilf mir, mich bei Problemen immer an dich zu wenden.

Wann hat Gott dir Frieden geschenkt? Teile deine Geschichte mit deinen Freunden auf facebook.com/odbdeutsch

Gott ist unsere Zuflucht in Zeiten der Not.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Беги ко мне

Читать сейчас: Притчи 18:4-12 | Библия за год: Иеремия 24-26; Колоссянам 3

Имя Господа – крепкая башня: убегает в нее праведник – и безопасен. — Притчи 18:10

Во время прогулки по местному парку мы с детьми встретили пару собак без поводков. Хозяин, казалось, не замечал, что одна из них стала приставать к моему сыну. Мальчик попытался отогнать собаку, но та стала еще более настойчивой.

В конце концов мой сын запаниковал. Он отбежал на несколько метров, собака устремилась следом. «Догонялки» продолжались, пока я не крикнула: «Беги ко мне!» Сын прибежал и прижался ко мне, а собака, увидев это, не решилась приблизиться и отправилась на поиски новых развлечений.

В жизни бывают ситуации, когда Бог говорит нам: «Беги ко Мне!» Тревоги имеют свойство умножаться, когда мы стараемся от них убежать. Они словно дышат в спину, а повернуться и разобраться с ними своими силами мы не осмеливаемся. Но мы не одни. Бог рядом. Он готов прийти на помощь и поддержать. Все что нужно – это отвернуться от того, что беспокоит нас, и направиться к Нему. Библия говорит: «Имя Господа – крепкая башня: убегает в нее праведник – и безопасен» (Притч. 18:10).

Дорогой Господь, Ты Князь мира. Мне нужен мир, который можешь дать только Ты. Помоги мне обращаться к Тебе в любой беде.

Бог – наше убежище во время скорби.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Cours vers moi

Lisez : Proverbes 18.4‑12 | La Bible en un an : Jérémie 24 – 26 et Tite 2

Le nom de l’Éternel est une tour forte ; le juste s’y réfugie, et se trouve en sécurité. (Proverbes 18.10)

Durant une promenade dans un parc du quartier, mes enfants et moi avons rencontré des chiens en liberté. Leur propriétaire ne semblait pas remarquer que l’un d’eux s’était mis à intimider mon fils. Celui‑ci tentait de le chasser, mais avec pour seul résultat d’inciter l’animal à le déranger encore plus.

Mon fils a alors fini par céder à la panique. Il s’est éloigné de plusieurs mètres au pas de course, mais le chien l’a suivi. La poursuite a continué jusqu’à ce que je crie à mon fils : « Cours vers moi ! » Mon fils a alors rebroussé chemin et s’est calmé, puis le chien a fini par décider d’aller faire ses bêtises ailleurs.

Il y a des moments dans la vie où Dieu nous appelle ainsi à lui : « Cours vers moi ! » Quelque chose qui nous trouble est sur nos talons. Plus nous cherchons à nous en éloigner au plus vite, plus cette chose se rapproche de nous. Nous ne parvenons pas à la semer. Nous avons trop peur de nous retourner et de l’affronter par nous‑mêmes. En réalité, nous ne sommes toutefois pas seuls. Dieu est là, prêt à nous venir en aide et à nous réconforter. Tout ce que nous avons à faire, c’est de nous détourner de ce qui nous fait peur pour courir dans sa direction. Sa Parole nous dit : « Le nom de l’Éternel est une tour forte ; le juste s’y réfugie, et se trouve en sécurité » (PR 18.10).

Dieu est notre refuge dans la tempête.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ