Saturday, November 5, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Ragamuffin Brother

Night Light for Couples, the couples' devotional from Focus on the Family ministry founder Dr. James Dobson and his wife, Shirley, brings spouses together each evening, helping them stay connected with each other and their Lord.

by Ron Mehl

Roy Angel was a dirt‐poor preacher with a millionaire brother. Back in the oil boom days of the late 1940s, Roy’s older brother happened to own the right piece of Texas prairie at the right time. When he sold, he became a multimillionaire overnight. Parlaying that good fortune, the elder Angel made some strategic investments in the stock market and then cashed in on several mushrooming business enterprises. He moved into the penthouse of a large apartment building in New York City and managed his investments from a posh Wall Street office.

A week before Christmas one year, the wealthy businessman visited his preacher‐brother in Chicago and presented him with a new car—a gleaming, top‐of‐the‐line Packard. Roy always kept his new car down the street in a parking garage, under the careful eye of an attendant. That’s why when he came to get his Packard one morning, he was surprised to see a ragamuffin ghetto boy with his face pressed up against one of the car windows. The little boy wasn’t doing anything suspicious; he was obviously just peering into the new car’s interior with wide, admiring eyes.

“Hello, son,” Roy said. The boy spun around and looked at him. “Is this your car, mister?” “Yes,” Roy replied, “it is.” “How much did it cost?” “Well, I really don’t know.” The boy’s face registered surprise. “You mean, you own this car, and you don’t know how much it cost?” “No, I don’t—because my brother gave it to me. As a present.” At this the boy’s eyes grew even wider. He thought for a moment, and then said wistfully, “I wish… I wish….” Roy thought he knew how the boy would finish the sentence. He
thought he was going to say, “I wish I had a brother like that.”

But he didn’t. The boy looked up at Roy and said, “I wish… I wish I could be a brother like that.”

That intrigued the minister, and because those were more innocent times, he said, “Well, son, would you like to take a ride?”

The boy immediately replied, “You bet!”

So they got in the car together, exited the parking garage, and drove slowly down the street. The little boy ran his hand across the soft fabric of the front seat, inhaled the new‐car smell, touched the shiny metal of the dashboard. Then he looked at his new friend and said, “Mister, would you—could you—take me by my house? It’s just a few blocks from here.”

Again, Roy assumed he knew what the lad had in mind. He thought the boy wanted to show off the car he was riding in to some of the neighborhood kids. He thought, Well, why not? So at his young passenger’s direction, Roy pulled up in front of an old, run‐down tenement building.

“Mister,” the boy said as they stopped at the curb, “would you stay here just a minute? I’ll be right back!”

Roy let the car idle as the boy rushed upstairs and disappeared.

After about ten minutes, the preacher began to wonder where the boy had taken himself. He got out of the car and looked up the unlighted stairwell. As he was looking up the dark stairs, he heard someone slowly coming down. The first thing he saw emerging from the gloom was two limp little legs. A moment later, Roy realized it was the little boy carrying an even smaller boy, evidently his younger brother.

The boy gently sat his brother down on the curb. “See?” he said with satisfaction. “It’s just like I told you. It’s a brand new car. His brother gave it to him, and someday I’m going to buy you a car just like that!”

Looking ahead…

In this story of two benevolent brothers, the millionaire certainly gave a nice present—but it’s the little boy who is the better example of a generous spirit. How many children dream of giving a new car to their brother or sister? Somehow I get the feeling that this little fellow wouldn’t squander a fortune if it came his way later in life.

During the coming week, we’ll be talking about the incredible power of generosity for good—both inside our marriage and in our relationships with others. Tonight I leave you with a question: Do you have a generous spirit?

- James C Dobson
  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • “Ragamuffin Brother” by Ron Mehl. Taken from God Works the Night Shift by Ron Mehl. © 1994. Used by permission of Multnomah Publishers, Inc.

NIV Devotions for Couples - Digging Out of a Little Sin

Joshua 7:1–26

“Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.” Joshua 7:11

I’m tempted to cry, “Not fair!” upon reading the story of Achan. First, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal for him to have taken some treasure as reward for victory in battle. And second, all of the Israelites were held responsible for the sin of one man who had stolen and hidden plunder after the battle of Jericho against God’s direct command. Because of the “small” sin of one man, God punished all of Israel by withdrawing his blessing and allowing the people to be humiliated and defeated at the battle of Ai.

I remember when my young children would complain that a punishment was too harsh for their “teeny” disobedience. I’d bring up Adam and Eve’s teeny bite of the forbidden fruit. I’d ask them how many bites of the fruit it would have taken to become a punishable act. They got it—that it’s not the size of the disobedience but the meaning behind it that’s the problem. Like Achan, Adam and Eve disrespected God by their disobedience.

Likewise, in marriage, individual actions reflect one’s commitment to the marriage covenant. When I’m tempted to do something selfish, I ask myself two questions: (1) “How would I feel if Grey did this?” and (2) “How would I feel if our children found out?” I’m stopped in my tracks every time. So, something like an “innocent” email exchange with an old flame is now revealed to my own heart for what it is: betrayal.

Sin in marriage is not an individual issue. It affects the marriage relationship, the wider family and also the entire community. Who would deny that infidelity and divorce have wreaked havoc upon millions of children and ripped the fabric of our society? In the same way, Achan’s selfish act ripped the fabric of Israel’s relationship with God.

Achan’s other sin was the cover-up; he deceitfully hid the plunder he had stolen. But eventually the truth was revealed, just as it is in twenty-first-century families. A woman writes in her journal about her intimate relationship with another man. She thinks no one will ever know. But one day her husband does the unthinkable; he decides to clean all the books on the bookshelf and discovers the diary behind the dusty volumes. Or a husband thinks he can cover his gambling losses by taking greater risks that promise bigger payoffs. But when the bank statement arrives with a negative balance—and his wife gets the mail—the whole family suffers the painful consequences of financial loss.

Achan’s lesson still holds true: Everyone loses in the sin game.

Mary Ann Jeffreys

Let’s Talk
  • What steps will we take to stay honest with each other about money, friends, and recreational activities? In what areas have we been less than fully honest?
  • What effect might “hidden” sins have on our marriage if we continue doing them for several months or even years?
  • What “no big deal” sins are we willing to overlook in our relationship? If we continue doing them, what or who might then bring them to light?

Standing Strong Through the Storm - NEEDED: PATIENCE AND STRENGTH

“I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Acts 26:17-18

These words of Jesus were spoken to Saul of Tarsus en route to Damascus at the time of his conversion. Saul—later Paul—is now sharing them with King Agrippa as a personal testimony. Though God would rescue Paul, he still suffered many things for the sake of the gospel.

One of the biggest challenges to remaining faithful under persecution is the need to stay free from bitterness. Some forms of persecution are particularly hard to forgive.

Elina’s father is a pastor near Dhaka, Bangladesh. Extremists have been trying to drive him and his family away. Elina shares her story:

“One night, I woke up because I had an exam the next morning and I needed to study. When I had to go to the bathroom, there was no one with me. Some boys came and they just moved onto me. They touched me and then they took me away, but I couldn’t scream because they held my mouth.

One of those two boys raped me while the other sat there. Then I tried to run away, but I couldn’t because they caught me again. Then the other boy raped me. The boys said, ‘If you tell somebody about this, we will kill you.’” When she arrived home, Elina shouted for her dad. The two of them brought her case to the police, but they were told she had no proof. Elina and her father believe the boys paid off the police, and they’re still awaiting justice despite a medical report confirming her story.

Elina says, “They did this because we are Christians. They don’t want us here; they want us to be Muslims. They are trying to drive us out. It was difficult for me in those days. I just wanted to fly away or commit suicide, but my dad comforted me. He told me, ‘Pray more and more, so God will give you more patience and strength.’ It really helped me work it out…I have forgiven them; I have nothing against them in my heart.”

Through the prayer and support of her family, Elina is finding God’s strength amidst her pain. As a testimony to her Savior’s redemptive power, Elina has extended His grace to the boys who violated her. Still, her journey to healing is far from over; a poignant reminder of the need to pray and send encouragement to our Christian sisters facing this heinous form of persecution.

In their response to persecution, Bengali Christians like Elina send a message to us in the west: a message of faith, hope and love—even for their oppressors so they might respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ and receive His forgiveness.

RESPONSE: Today I too will pray for patience and strength to be a witness even to my enemies.

PRAYER: Pray for young Christian girls like Elina who face great personal challenges to be a witness.

Un Dia a la Vez - El afán y la ansiedad

Busquen primeramente el reino de Dios y su justicia, y todas estas cosas les serán añadidas. Mateo 6:33

El problema del afán y la ansiedad ha estado muy de moda en los últimos meses. Hace algún tiempo, Estados Unidos, país donde resido por más de veintidós años, tuvo una de las peores crisis financieras del país. Fueron días y meses en los que solo se escuchaba decir a la gente: «Estamos muy mal. La crisis es terrible. Las cosas empeoran cada vez más». Lo mismo se escuchaba en las noticias de la radio, la televisión y la prensa. Era, como digo yo, un bombardeo de cosas negativas que llegaban a diario a nuestra mente.

Sin embargo, recuerdo que nosotros en la radio y en la iglesia contrarrestábamos esto.

¿Por qué? Porque Dios en su Palabra es muy claro, pero actuamos como si no le creyéramos.

Por ejemplo, Él dijo: «En el mundo tendréis aflicción; pero confiad, yo he vencido al mundo» (Juan 16:33, rv-60).

Además, en el pasaje de Mateo 6:25-34 se nos aclara todo el tiempo su interés por nuestro bienestar. Desearía que hicieras la excepción y leyeras el capítulo completo, pues vale la pena. Al hacerlo, quizá logres entender cómo piensa y actúa Dios, no tengas ansiedad y aprendas a descansar en Él.

Dios nos ama, pero necesita que nuestra confianza esté puesta en Él. Nuestra labor como sus hijos es la de tomar cada una de sus promesas para nosotros. Entonces, cuando se presenten las tormentas de la vida, comprenderemos que no estamos solos. Y aunque no veamos la mano de Dios, nos percataremos que Él está ahí para ayudarnos.

Verse of the Day - November 05, 2016

Romans 13:6 (NIV) This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.

Read all of Romans 13

The Daily Readings for November 5, 2016

Ecclesiasticus 51:1-12
I give you thanks, O Lord and King, and praise you, O God my Savior. I give thanks to your name, for you have been my protector and helper and have delivered me from destruction and from the trap laid by a slanderous tongue, from lips that fabricate lies. In the face of my adversaries you have been my helper and delivered me, in the greatness of your mercy and of your name, from grinding teeth about to devour me, from the hand of those seeking my life, from the many troubles I endured, from choking fire on every side, and from the midst of fire that I had not kindled, from the deep belly of Hades, from an unclean tongue and lying words-- the slander of an unrighteous tongue to the king. My soul drew near to death, and my life was on the brink of Hades below. They surrounded me on every side, and there was no one to help me; I looked for human assistance, and there was none. Then I remembered your mercy, O Lord, and your kindness from of old, for you rescue those who wait for you and save them from the hand of their enemies. And I sent up my prayer from the earth, and begged for rescue from death. I cried out, "Lord, you are my Father; do not forsake me in the days of trouble, when there is no help against the proud. I will praise your name continually, and will sing hymns of thanksgiving." My prayer was heard, for you saved me from destruction and rescued me in time of trouble. For this reason I thank you and praise you, and I bless the name of the Lord. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to the God of praises, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to the guardian of Israel, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to him who formed all things, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to the redeemer of Israel, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to him who gathers the dispersed of Israel, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to him who rebuilt his city and his sanctuary, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to him who makes a horn to sprout for the house of David, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to him who has chosen the sons of Zadok to be priests, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to the shield of Abraham, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to the rock of Isaac, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to the mighty one of Jacob, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to him who has chosen Zion, for his mercy endures forever; Give thanks to the King of the kings of kings, for his mercy endures forever; He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his loyal ones. For the children of Israel, the people close to him. Praise the LORD!

Revelation 18:1-14
After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority; and the earth was made bright with his splendor. He called out with a mighty voice, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt of every foul spirit, a haunt of every foul bird, a haunt of every foul and hateful beast. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxury." Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you do not take part in her sins, and so that you do not share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her as she herself has rendered, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, so give her a like measure of torment and grief. Since in her heart she says, 'I rule as a queen; I am no widow, and I will never see grief,' therefore her plagues will come in a single day-- pestilence and mourning and famine-- and she will be burned with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who judges her." And the kings of the earth, who committed fornication and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning; they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, "Alas, alas, the great city, Babylon, the mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come." And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, choice flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, slaves-- and human lives. "The fruit for which your soul longed has gone from you, and all your dainties and your splendor are lost to you, never to be found again!"

Luke 14:1-11
On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, "Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not?" But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. Then he said to them, "If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?" And they could not reply to this. When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, 'Give this person your place,' and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher' then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

Morning Psalms

Psalm 75 Confitebimur tibi
1   We give you thanks, O God, we give you thanks, calling upon your Name and declaring all your wonderful deeds.
2   I will appoint a time, says God; I will judge with equity.
3   Though the earth and all its inhabitants are quaking, I will make its pillars fast.
4   I will say to the boasters, 'Boast no more, ' and to the wicked, 'Do not toss your horns;
5   Do not toss your horns so high, nor speak with a proud neck.'"
6   For judgment is neither from the east nor from the west, nor yet from the wilderness or the mountains.
7   It is God who judges; he puts down one and lifts up another.
8   For in the LORD'S hand there is a cup, full of spiced and foaming wine, which he pours out, and all the wicked of the earth shall drink and drain the dregs.
9   But I will rejoice for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10   He shall break off all the horns of the wicked; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

Psalm 76 Notus in Judæa
1   In Judah is God known; his Name is great in Israel.
2   At Salem is his tabernacle, and his dwelling is in Zion.
3   There he broke the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of battle.
4   How glorious you are! more splendid than the everlasting mountains!
5   The strong of heart have been despoiled; they sink into sleep; none of the warriors can lift a hand.
6   At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and rider lie stunned.
7   What terror you inspire! who can stand before you when you are angry?
8   From heaven you pronounced judgment; the earth was afraid and was still;
9   When God rose up to judgment and to save all the oppressed of the earth.
10   Truly, wrathful Edom will give you thanks, and the remnant of Hamath will keep your feasts.
11   Make a vow to the LORD your God and keep it; let all around him bring gifts to him who is worthy to be feared.
12   He breaks the spirit of princes, and strikes terror in the kings of the earth.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 23 Dominus regit me
1   The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
2   He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.
3   He revives my soul and guides me along right pathways for his Name's sake.
4   Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5   You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over.
6   Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Psalm 27 Dominus illuminatio
1   The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?
2   When evildoers came upon me to eat up my flesh, it was they, my foes and my adversaries, who stumbled and fell.
3   Though an army should encamp against me, yet my heart shall not be afraid;
4   And though war should rise up against me, yet will I put my trust in him.
5   One thing have I asked of the LORD; one thing I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life;
6   To behold the fair beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
7   For in the day of trouble he shall keep me safe in his shelter; he shall hide me in the secrecy of his dwelling and set me high upon a rock.
8   Even now he lifts up my head above my enemies round about me.
9   Therefore I will offer in his dwelling an oblation with sounds of great gladness; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
10   Hearken to my voice, O LORD, when I call; have mercy on me and answer me.
11   You speak in my heart and say, "Seek my face." Your face, LORD, will I seek.
12   Hide not your face from me, nor turn away your servant in displeasure.
13   You have been my helper; cast me not away; do not forsake me, O God of my salvation.
14   Though my father and my mother forsake me, the LORD will sustain me.
15   Show me your way, O LORD; lead me on a level path, because of my enemies.
16   Deliver me not into the hand of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen up against me, and also those who speak malice.
17   What if I had not believed that I should see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!
18   O tarry and await the LORD'S pleasure; be strong, and he shall comfort your heart; wait patiently for the LORD.

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 5, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Richelle Thompson

Psalm 75:4-5 (NRSV) I will say to the boasters, “Boast no more,” and to the wicked, “Do not toss your horns; Do not toss your horns so high, nor speak with a proud neck.”

Of the many opportunities for sin, pride may be the most tempting. Several of the scripture passages in this particular season of the lectionary talk of the danger of pride. Great literature casts pride as both Achilles’ heel and Icarus’ wings—a kind of weakness that fells even the seemingly invincible. Satan is blinded by his pride in John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Dr. Frankenstein creates his monster out of his prideful conviction that he can supersede the laws of nature. Snow White’s wicked stepmother falls prey to her own pride and desire to be the “fairest of them all.”

Is pride always sinful? I hope not. Many of us express pride in our children, the accomplishments of our partners, the good work of our colleagues. Perhaps taking joy in a job well done is different than the pride scripture warns against, and the danger comes when pride swells to hubris, when we think we have all the answers, when we come to see ourselves as the savior, the fairest of all, and not Jesus.

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Our Daily Bread - Love in Action

Read: Philippians 1:27–2:4 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 34–36; Hebrews 2

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3

“Do you have a few items you’d like me to wash?” I asked a visitor to our home in London. His face lit up, and as his daughter walked by, he said, “Get your dirty clothes—Amy’s doing our laundry!” I smiled, realizing that my offer had been extended from a few items to a few loads.

Later as I hung clothes outside on the line, a phrase from my morning’s Bible reading floated through my mind: “In humility value others above yourselves” (Phil. 2:3). I had been reading Paul’s letter to the people of Philippi, in which he exhorts them to live worthy of Christ’s calling through serving and being united with others. They were facing persecution, but Paul wanted them to be of one mind. He knew that their unity, birthed through their union with Christ and expressed through serving each other, would enable them to keep strong in their faith.

We might claim to love others without selfish ambition or vain conceit, but the true state of our hearts isn’t revealed until we put our love into action. Though I felt tempted to grumble, I knew that as a follower of Christ, my call was to put my love for my friends into practice—with a clean heart.

May we find ways to serve our family, friends, and neighbors for God’s glory.

Read Luke 22:22–27 and consider how you can pattern yourself after Jesus the servant, looking especially at the words, “But I am among you as one who serves.”

The gift of unity can result from serving each other.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Unser Täglich Brot - Liebe in Aktion

Lesen: Philipper 1,27–2,4 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Jeremia 34–36; Hebräer 2

Tut nichts aus Eigennutz oder um eitler Ehre willen, sondern in Demut achte einer den andern höher als sich selbst. (Philipper 2,3)

„Kann ich dir etwas waschen?“, fragte ich unseren Besuch. Er strahlte und sagte zu seiner Tochter, die gerade vorbeikam: „Hol deine schmutzige Wäsche. Amy steckt sie für uns in die Maschine!“ Ich grinste und dachte, dass sich mein Angebot nun sicher nicht nur auf eine Maschinenladung beschränken würde.

Später, als ich die Wäsche aufhängte, ging mir ein Satz aus der morgendlichen Bibellese durch den Kopf: „In Demut achte einer den andern höher als sich selbst“ (Phil. 2,3). Ich hatte in dem Brief von Paulus an die Philipper gelesen. Darin ermahnt er sie, so zu leben, dass sie Jesus Ehre machen, indem sie einander dienen und eines Sinnes sind. Sie waren Verfolgung ausgesetzt, aber Paulus wollte, dass sie einträchtig waren. Die Einigkeit, die auf der Verbindung zu Jesus basierte und sich im Dienst aneinander zeigte, würde ihnen helfen, im Glauben stark zu bleiben.

Wir können sagen, wir würden andere uneigennützig und vorurteilsfrei lieben, aber wie es in unserem Herzen wirklich aussieht, zeigt sich dann, wenn die Liebe unser Handeln fordert. Obwohl ich am liebsten geschimpft hätte, wusste ich, dass ich als Jüngerin Jesu meine Liebe in die Tat umsetzen sollte—mit einem reinen Herzen.

Lasst uns alle nach Wegen suchen, wie wir Familie, Freunden oder Nachbarn zu Gottes Ehre dienen können.

Lies Lukas 22,22-27 und überlege, wie du Jesu Beispiel als Diener folgen kannst, vor allem in Bezug auf die Worte: „Ich aber bin unter euch wie ein Diener.“

Einheit kann da entstehen, wo wir bereit sind, einander zu dienen.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Любовь в действии

Читать сейчас: Филиппийцам 1:27–2:4 | Библия за год: Иеремия 34-36; 1 Фессалоникийцам 3

Ничего не делайте по любопрению или по тщеславию, но по смиренномудрию почитайте один другого выше себя. — Филиппийцам 2:3

«Может быть, вам что-нибудь постирать?» – спросила я приехавшую погостить подругу. С просиявшим лицом она позвала дочь: «Эми нам постирает, неси свою грязную одежду!» Я улыбнулась, поняв, что мое предложение постирать пару вещей расширяется до нескольких загрузок.

Позже, развешивая постиранное белье, я вспомнила фразу из Библии, которую прочла утром: «По смиренномудрию почитайте один другого выше себя» (Флп. 2:3). Я читала Послание Павла к филиппийцам, где он убеждает читателей жить достойно христианского звания, служа и укрепляя единство с другими верующими. Им грозили преследования, но Павел призывал их к единомыслию. Он знал, что единство, происходящее от близости ко Христу и выражающееся в служении ближним, поможет им устоять в вере.

Мы можем много говорить о любви, но истинное состояние сердца откроется, только когда любовь проявится в деле. Стирая вещи подруги, я испытывала искушение немного поворчать, но я помнила, что, будучи христианкой, призвана показывать любовь в делах и притом от чистого сердца.

Будем пользоваться возможностями послужить семье, друзьям и соседям во славу Божью.

Прочитайте текст из Евангелия от Луки 22:22-27 и подумайте, как вы можете подражать Христу в служении, обратив особое внимание на слова: «А Я посреди вас – как служащий».

Дар единства рождается в служении друг другу.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ

Notre Pain Quotidien - L’amour en action

Lisez : Philippiens 1.27 – 2.4 | La Bible en un an : Jérémie 34 – 36 et Hébreux 2

Ne faites rien par esprit de parti ou par vaine gloire, mais que l’humilité vous fasse regarder les autres comme étant au‑dessus de vous‑mêmes. (Philippiens 2.3)

Avez‑vous quelques vêtements que vous aimeriez que je lave ? » ai‑je demandé à quelqu’un en visite chez nous à Londres. Le visage soudain illuminé, il a dit à sa fille qui passait par là : « Va chercher tes vêtements sales – Amy va faire notre lessive ! » J’ai souri en comprenant que mon offre venait de passer de quelques vêtements à quelques brassées.

Plus tard, alors que j’étendais des vêtements sur la corde à linge, une exhortation lue le matin même dans la Bible m’est revenue à l’esprit : « [Que] l’humilité vous fasse regarder les autres comme étant au‑dessus de vous‑mêmes » (PH 2.3). Je lisais l’épître de Paul aux Philippiens, dans laquelle il les encourage à vivre une vie digne de leur vocation céleste en se consacrant au service de Christ dans l’unité. Paul désirait qu’ils affrontent la persécution en agissant d’un même esprit. Il savait que leur unité, née de leur union avec Christ et exprimée dans le service des uns envers les autres, leur permettrait de garder fermement la foi.

Il se peut que, même si nous disons nous aimer les uns les autres sans nourrir d’ambitions égoïstes ni vanité, le véritable état de notre coeur ne se révèle qu’une fois que nous mettons notre amour en action. Bien que j’étais tentée de regimber, je savais qu’en tant que disciple de Christ, j’étais appelée à mettre mon amour pour mes amis en pratique, d’un coeur pur.

Puissions‑nous servir notre famille, nos amis et notre prochain pour la gloire de Dieu !

Servir les autres peut produire le don de l’unité.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ