Sunday, November 6, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Time and Wisdom

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.

“For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.”

Generosity comes in many forms. One version is material gifts. Another is the sharing of our time and wisdom. I (jcd) recall the example of one man who gave up two hours and influenced my life for years. When I was in college, my aunt heard a speech by a well‐known Christian psychologist, Dr. Clyde Narramore. “We need Christian young men and women in the field of mental health,” Dr. Narramore said to the audience. “If you know of promising students who are interested, I’ll be glad to meet with them.” My aunt told me of this invitation, and I called Dr. Narramore for an appointment. He graciously agreed to see me, even though he was busy and didn’t know me from Adam.

As we talked in his living room, he laid out a plan for how I could become a psychologist. It’s been over forty years since that conversation took place, yet I still remember the advice he gave me that day. It shaped the next five years of my life and helped channel me into a profession I love.

You may not have the financial means to help people in need, but you can offer them your time and insights. It may be just what they need to point them in the right direction.

Just between us…
  • Who has influenced us through their gifts of time and wisdom?
  • In what areas do we have expertise, insights, or available time that might help someone else?
  • Who do we know who might benefit from our generosity?
Heavenly Father, tonight we reach for a truly generous life together. Guide and strengthen our willingness to share. Thank You for putting us on earth for something bigger and more meaningful than our own comfort or happiness. 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 - CHOOSING LOVE OVER HATE

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

At the early age of eleven, Sam was living a pious Muslim life in the southern Philippines. He prayed at mosques on Fridays and fasted during Ramadan. Sam was the only one of his siblings sent to school where he excelled both in classroom and sports. He was everybody’s favorite, popular and well-loved.

But everything changed one afternoon. After school, Sam passed by his grandfather’s house who happened to be a Christian. He saw a maroon book with ‘Kitab Injil’ (The Gospel) written on the cover. He opened it and started reading. “I was drawn to Jesus because his teachings were so different...Help the needy, obey and respect parents, do not be a false witness...they were not taught in Islam. Before that, I only knew to repay evil with evil.”

So Sam committed his life to following Jesus and His teachings in the Bible. He was just a fifth grader then. Although he was the only Christian in his family, Sam’s parents and siblings respected his new faith. But outside his home, among his friends, it was a different story. “You’re a kafir (infidel)! You are not my friend anymore.”

It was very painful for Sam to be deserted by his friend. His classmates at grade school kept a good distance from him. Some mocked him, calling him kafir. There were times during classes when kids would throw their shoes at him. They bullied him by writing stuffs on his uniform, filling his bag with sand, and even punching him.

One day, a friend-turned-enemy yelled at him. “You Christians are filthy! Christians are garbage!” Sam cried and ran home. There were times when he was tempted to fight back, but he remembered the words of Jesus to love the enemies, to bless and not curse. In his heart, he prayed for those who bullied him and repaid them with a kind smile instead.

Sam, now seventeen, has endured physical harassment, insults, and discrimination from friends and school mates for boldly telling them that he is a Christian.

After Sam joined the Open Doors’ discipleship program for MBB youths, he has become even bolder in seizing every opportunity to share his faith in Jesus. Sam knows that doing so might cost him his life someday.

“When I think of my friends, my heart breaks. I lost them, and though they turned out to be my enemies, I don’t hate them. Instead, I pray for them that one day they will meet my Lord Jesus and be changed.”

RESPONSE: Jesus wants me to not repay evil with evil but rather love, bless and pray for those who are my enemies.

PRAYER: Help me Lord to live among those who oppose me with the character of Jesus and respond to them with love and not hate.

Un Dia a la Vez - El juicio a los demás

¿Por qué te fijas en la astilla que tiene tu hermano en el ojo, y no le das importancia a la viga que está en el tuyo? Mateo 7:3

Quizá hoy sea el primer día que tomas este libro devocional en tus manos. Por eso quiero decirte que hace quince días estamos analizando los principios que nuestro Dios dejó para que tengamos una vida feliz. Este es un recorrido de veintiún días en los que estamos considerando todas las esferas que nos pueden afectar por la manera en que vivimos. Así que en oración le pedimos a Dios que nos dé entendimiento y que logremos obedecer su Palabra.

El juicio que hacemos de los demás dice mucho de nuestro carácter. No tenemos derecho a juzgar a nadie. Eso sí que es feo y es más común de lo que pensamos. Los cristianos especialmente somos ligeros para juzgar, pues somos rudos y duros con los demás.

Si alguno cae o falla, somos los primeros en hablar y evaluar.

¿Acaso olvidamos cómo hemos sido? ¿Es que no nos acordamos del fango del que nos sacó o nos rescató el Señor? Pidámosle a Dios que nos dé amor y misericordia por los demás.

Y que podamos tener en cuenta que nos medirán con la misma medida que medimos a otros.

Verse of the Day - November 06, 2016

Ephesians 1:9-10 (NIV) he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

Read all of Ephesians 1

Afterlife, Sex and Resurrection - Sunday Sermon for November 6, 2016 - All Saints Sunday

"Afterlife, Sex and Resurrection"

Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her." Jesus said to them, "Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive." (Luke 20:27-38, NRSV)

Grace and peace from God Our Father and from Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world! Amen.

The other day I was watching a college football game. It was between the University of Clemson and North Carolina State. It turned out to be a fantastic game full of all kinds of drama. With only a few seconds to go North Carolina State was in position to win the game with a field goal. Just before the ball was snapped the head coach of Clemson called a quick time out. He wanted to rattle the place kicker. He had already missed a couple of field goals and I'm sure Clemson's coach thought if the young man was interrupted that perhaps some doubt and fear would overcome him and he would miss again. Well, Clemson's strategy worked perfectly. The young man tried his best but he was off by a couple of feet and the game went into overtime where Clemson went on to win the game.

I was amazed at the precise timing of Clemson's time out. It was faultless. It was called with just enough time to get into the young man's mind and create some doubt in his ability to kick the field goal. It was done just at the right time to rattle him. And it worked.

Our passage in Luke this morning deals with a time in Jesus' life that the same type of devilish strategy was being attempted on Jesus. It's the Wednesday of Passion Week. Jesus is already in Jerusalem. The Triumphal Entry has taken place, Jesus has already cleansed the Temple and now is fielding some questions by those that have surrounded him. The chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders have already questioned him on his authority. Who gave him the right to preach about God? Who gave Jesus the authority to go out and share his message?

Jesus answers their questions and then shares the Parable of Tenants. Afterwards some spies from the Jewish leadership group try to trip Jesus up with a rather sticky political question. They want to get Jesus in trouble with Roman government. Jesus gives them his famous statement of "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." Astonished by his answer the spies are rendered speechless. Jesus has faced everyone's questions so far and has come out ahead.

It's at this point we are at our passage. Jesus has handled a theological question and a political question. Now, it's the Sadducees turn. They ask Jesus what they think is a highly intelligent theological question with eschatological undertones. It's not so much their question as it is their strategy that we must keep in mind. In less than 48 hours Jesus will be hanging on the cross taking his last few mortal breaths. He will be facing firsthand all three questions that have been asked of him. They are similar to the temptations Jesus faced in the Wilderness.

This morning let's spend some time looking at the 3rd question - the one asked by the Sadducees. Not the question concerning marriage but the question underlining it concerning whether or not there is a Resurrection. Whether or not there is a time of everlasting accountability that results in either reward or punishment.

All throughout his ministry one of Jesus' main themes had been his teaching concerning the Resurrection. (Matthew 12:39-40, 16:27; 27; 62-64, Mark 8:31; 14:58, Luke 9:22; John 2:18-22; John 10:17-18). Jesus was constantly reminding his disciples what was going to happen to him, "The son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again."

The belief in Resurrection would turn out to be the singular event that would transform heaven and earth. Christianity is utter foolishness and nonsense void of the Resurrection. Without the Resurrection, Jesus, his life, his ministry are insightful but in the long scheme of things they are ultimately meaningless. Paul tells us in Romans 1:1-4, "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." (NIV) and more visibly in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, "But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." (NIV)

Our passage this morning is a big deal. Oh, the Sadducees' question is juvenile but the foundation behind it is far from being juvenile. The Sadducees were doing their best to create a spirit of doubt, confusion and fear in Jesus' heart and mind. Like the coach of Clemson they want to get Jesus off his game.

The belief in an afterlife was not widespread among all the Jews. The Sadducees for example did not believe in an afterlife at all. Their theological viewpoints different greatly from the Pharisees. Where the Pharisees believed in the Law, the Prophets, the Writings and in Oral Tradition, the Sadducees only believed in what they called the words of Moses. In their minds Moses did not teach about an afterlife, about angels and especially about any type of human resurrection. The Sadducees also did not believe that there was going to be any eternal reward or punishment. All human beings could look forward to either good or bad was this life.

In our passage they did their best to get Jesus to understand that such an afterlife existence was a mere fallacy. They did their best to either show him to truth or to confuse him. Given when this happens I think it was their sole intention to put some doubt and confusion into the mind and heart of Jesus. I think we can see where they were being used by Satan to see if Jesus could be rattled. I think we can see where Satan uses them to try his best to get Jesus to experience some doubt and confusion about his mission and the love of His Heavenly Father. After all, the Cross is less than 48 hours away.

So, let's get the picture. Jesus is right on the doorstep of fulfilling his life mission. Everything he has done on earth is getting ready to come to a conclusion. If he ever needed clarity and faith it was now. For over the next 48 hours his mind, his heart and his soul would be tested as it never had been before.

And like the serpent in the Garden, here were these Sadducees standing there in the corner nudging him - "THERE IS NO RESURRECTION". "THERE IS ONLY THIS MORTAL LIFE" "THERE IS NO EVERLASTING PROMISE OR HOPE" "ALL WE HAVE IS TODAY" "THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY OR VINDICATION OR EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT OR REWARD" "THERE IS NO NEED FOR REDEMPTION". In other words after the Cross Jesus you will simply be dead All that you have preached will be dead. The total meaning of your life will mean nothing. You will have died in vain and nothing will be done through your death. There is no afterlife, no angels nor is there the hope of any human resurrection.

We must understand what is going on before we get to Jesus' answers. This is not just some question and answer session between Jesus and these Sadducees. This is a bunch of people steeped in the Torah, seen as the best of the best when it comes to being teachers of the Word telling Jesus that the thing he has put as his singular foundation - THAT GOD THE FATHER WILL RESURRECT GOD THE SON and therefore all mankind can be redeemed is all a bunch of nonsense.

And just to push home their point they posit the craziest of questions. To fully understand the absurdity of the context of their question Andrew Prior shares with us a similar question concerning the resurrection. It goes like this:

"A missionary meets a cannibal, and it does not go well. He is eaten. But the cannibal is so impressed by the demeanour (sic) of the missionary as he awaits death, that he is converted. So how will these two be raised from the dead? Part of the missionary would have to be part of the cannibal!" Who gets resurrected and how?

What a silly question. What a silly question from the Sadducees in one sense. In another sense it was like the time out from Clemson's coach. The coach was not interested in giving his team some new knowledge or a way to block the field goal attempt. His interest was in getting the North Carolina State place kicker rattled. His interest was in creating an atmosphere of anxiety, doubt and fear.

So, too, I think was this question of the Sadducees. They really didn't want an answer. After all they didn't even believe in the premise of their own question. If you don't believe in a resurrection or in an afterlife then why in the world ask a question about it in the first place? All they were interested in was to get Jesus rattled, begin to doubt and cause some confusion among his disciples and followers.

Unlike the young man in our football game, however, Jesus doesn't get rattled. Instead, he picks up on the question of the Sadducees and uses it as a platform to do some more teaching. He uses it as a launching pad to share some more on what we can expect in the life to come. Jesus takes the opportunity given to him to tell all of us about: Relationships in the afterlife, Angels and the Resurrection itself.

I. Jesus begins by telling all of us that Resurrected Life is going to be different than Mortal Life

What we shall experience in heaven will be far different than what we experienced here on earth. Here on earth we have to deal with all kinds of difficult issues:

  • Issues revolving around the most intimate of human relationships, those involving marriage and family.

Our Mormon friends believe that marriage is for all eternity and that in heaven we will be given the opportunity to produce celestial children. It's a nice thought but it's not the truth. Our Muslim friends believe that if a man does the right thing for Allah then it is possible that once that person reaches heaven Allah will have 72 virgins waiting for them. The same deal is not for women just for men. Jesus doesn't agree and His Heavenly Father has made no such provisions.

Jesus puts those kind of human and sensuous thoughts to the side. He simply tells us that in Heaven resurrected humans will no longer be married or bear children. Marriage, sexual intimacy and childbirth are all a part of an earthly institution blessed by the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. Those human relationships and activities will not be a part of our heavenly existence. The relationships that we enjoy in heaven will supersede those that we can now experience in marriage and in families. Sin will no longer cloud our minds and God will reveal to us a whole new way to share life with one another.

Whether we realize it or not,  Jesus words here have become a part of our traditional wedding vows.

"I, ___, take you, ___, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part."

"Til death do us part." Those words are not there to simply allow a person to remarry after their spouse dies but to testify of the reality of Jesus' words. Humans are married here on earth. Their marriage is earth bound. Humans have children here on earth. Parenthood and childhood are earth bound relationships. They will not exist in Heaven.

I'm sure some of your are right now unhappy while others are are relieved. Those of you that have had a great marriage feel a tinge of sadness in the fact that you will not be married on the other side. Those of you who have been married more than once may be a little relieved. After all, if you had a great marriage to Bob who after 40 years died and you remarried Sam who was with you for another 20 years - which one do you pick before you go inside those pearly gates? Bob who was the love of your young life and who helped you raise a family or Sam who was the love of your sunset years? Jesus tells us you won't have to flip a coin to see who you are going to be with in Heaven. Marriage won't exist.

And what about those whose first marriage was a disaster? Especially those whose divorced mate later came to faith. Now, when they get to heaven do they have to be reunited with their former divorced mate or do they get to keep mate # 2 or mate #3. You see, if we try to make heaven look like earth then we all get confused and messed up.

The reality is simply this. Our lives in heaven are not going to match our lives here on earth.

That is great news. For it means also that other human institutions that we find on earth will also not be in heaven. There will be no social classes, no slavery or gender inequality . There will be barrenness in heaven. Women will be equal to men. Slaves will be equal to their former owners. Poor will be equal to rich. The only standing in Heaven is that everyone will stand before the LORD as His children. Everyone will be one with the Father and with one another. The Great High Priestly Prayer of Jesus will be realized.

II. Secondly, Jesus reminds everyone angels do exist

While the Bible does not give us the precise time of the creation of angels; their existence is assumed from the very beginning. It is amazing that the Sadducees who prided themselves on knowing the Torah somehow missed all those passages in Genesis and Exodus that speak of angels. We have angels meeting with Abraham, Lot and Jacob. We have angels watching over the Children of Israel. The Torah and the rest of God's Word is full of stories and encounters with angels.

The reality is we find at least ten orders of angels mentioned in the Bible; Angels, Powers, Principalities, Dominions, Thrones, Archangels, Cherubim, Seraphim and the Elders. The Bible is clear to reveal to us that God has given angels great wisdom, freedom and power. God used angels to bring mankind insight, understanding and guidance. The Bible is clear that God has used angels to protect and watch over mankind.

Angels exist. That is just a fact. Think for a moment of where Abraham, Jacob, David, Elisha, Daniel, Mary, Joseph, Peter and the Early Church would be without angels. Think for a moment of how angels came and ministered to Jesus at the time of His temptation in the wilderness and how angels announce both his birth and resurrection.

Without God's holy angels our lives here on earth would be poorer. The writer of Hebrews wants us to be careful in entertaining strangers that come our way. We never know when we are in the presence of a holy angel. Aren't you glad this morning that God created angels and they are still being His messengers today?

III. Finally, Jesus nails it down once and for all - THERE IS GOING TO BE A RESURRECTION

I love the way Jesus reveals this. Knowing how much the Sadducees believed that they knew the Torah Jesus takes them back to the heart of the Torah. He takes them back to the burning bush to remind them that Moses very much believed in the Resurrection. The Resurrection is not some new idea but an old idea. As old as the Law itself. As old as creation itself.

It is here that Jesus also reminds his listeners of two vital truths:

  • Not everyone will be resurrected to New Life. Notice Jesus speaks of those "considered worthy of taking part in that age". We must be careful here to understand that Jesus speaks of both a New Life and a Second Death.
  • Resurrection Life therefore means that there will be a time of accountability that will result in a time of either reward or punishment.

Because the Sadducees refused to believe in an afterlife it did not matter to them how pure and holy they lived. For the most part they held on to certain tenets of the Jewish faith while at the same time befriending the tenets of Hellenism - Greek philosophy and cozying up to Roman authority. They were banking on their belief that there would not be an afterlife and therefore would not be a time of accountability, vindication or even everlasting reward or punishment. As far as they were concerned they were already at the top tier of society and financial wealth so why did they need Heaven? To achieve their high position most of them had already broken more than one commandment and if there was an afterlife then they might not fare so well. If there an afterlife then that would mean that they would need to repent and change their ways.

Jesus answers the Sadducees question in such a way as to help them realize that in just about 5 days they would no longer be asking such silly questions. When they begin to hear about Him coming out of that tomb on Sunday morning then they will need to begin to realize that their beliefs have been mistaken. No longer will there be any silly questions about a Resurrection, about an afterlife along with a time of accountability and vindication. I believe that Jesus was reaching out to them with the Good News of the Gospel. I believe he was wanting to tell them that they needed to get ready for the truth:
  • There is an Afterlife 
  • There are angels 
  • There will be a resurrection - either to live forever in Heaven with God or to experience a second death in Hell

Today, as we come to a close we do so with a time of reflection and introspection. We may be here today and not truly believe in an afterlife or at least that there will be a time of accountability followed by an everlasting life in Heaven or in Hell. We may be living much like our friends the Sadducees - going for all the gusto we can in this life banking on the fact that there is either no afterlife or if there is then everyone gets to go to the Good Place.

Until then we will eat cake, have sex, raise children, gain weight, have cancer or a heart attack and die.

Jesus here is telling us that there is more. There is more than we can imagine. But along with that more - with the reality that there is a Resurrection there is also accountability, a judgment and either Heaven or Hell.

Today, in which direction are you going? Have you accepted the grace that Jesus offers you? Are you ready to be Resurrected to experience everlasting Life or the Second Death? The Sadducees thought they were tripping Jesus up but in the end Jesus used their question to share the Message of the Good News.

Yes - there is everlasting Life.

Yes - it is life that is far superior to our life here on earth.

Yes - there are God's Holy Angels.

Yes - there are wonders that are too great for us to behold.

Yes - there is Heaven and it is ours if we will:
  • Repent of our sins
  • Receive God's grace through Jesus Christ our Savior and LORD
  • Be filled with His Holy Spirit and live out a life in the Spirit

Are you ready to respond to Jesus right now by opening the door to your life?

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. Sermon shared by Ernie Arnold.

The Daily Readings for November 6, 2016 - All Saints Sunday

First Reading
from the Old Testament

"O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me! (Job 19:23-27, NRSV)

This is the Word of the Lord


Psalm 17:1-9
1   Hear my plea of innocence, O LORD; give heed to my cry; listen to my prayer, which does not come from lying lips.
2   Let my vindication come forth from your presence; let your eyes be fixed on justice.
3   Weigh my heart, summon me by night, melt me down; you will find no impurity in me.
4   I give no offense with my mouth as others do; I have heeded the words of your lips.
5   My footsteps hold fast to the ways of your law; in your paths my feet shall not stumble.
6   I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; incline your ear to me and hear my words.
7   Show me your marvelous loving-kindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at your right hand from those who rise up against them.
8   Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings,
9   From the wicked who assault me, from my deadly enemies who surround me.

Second Reading
from the Epistles

As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 2:13-17, NRSV)

This is the Word of the Lord

The Holy Gospel
according to St Luke, the 20th Chapter

Glory to You, O Lord

Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her." Jesus said to them, "Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive." (Luke 20:27-38, NRSV)

This is the Gospel of 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 6, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Richelle Thompson

Ephesians 1:15 (NRSV) I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints.

If I hadn’t known him personally, I would think the stories were urban legends. In one account, Herbert Thompson, former bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, left the Archbishop of Canterbury waiting on an airport runway while he talked with an airline baggage carrier. In another, Bishop Thompson ignored the long reception line to crouch on his knees after worship, praying at eye level with a young boy.

Among the bishop’s closest friends was a custodian, a man who didn’t graduate from high school but could charm the most stubborn of machines and coax the finest finish from a plank of wood. Another confidant: Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu.

Bishop Thompson modeled a joyful faith and a graceful embrace of all people, regardless of their station in life, educational background, financial acumen, race, age, or gender. He took time to be truly present with each person he encountered, which wreaked havoc on schedules but shone Christ’s love from the heavens, a reminder that practice for saintly living begins here on earth.

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Our Daily Bread - A Safe Place

Read: 1 Corinthians 6:9–11; 13:4–7 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 37–39; Hebrews 3

That is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

A young Japanese man had a problem—he was afraid of leaving his house. To avoid other people, he slept through the day and stayed up all night watching TV. He was a hikikomori or a modern-day hermit. The problem began when he stopped going to school because of poor grades. The longer he remained apart from society, the more he felt like a social misfit. Eventually he broke off all communication with his friends and family. He was helped on his journey to recovery, though, by visiting a youth club in Tokyo known as an ibasho—a safe place where broken people could start reintroducing themselves to society.

What if we thought of the church as an ibasho—and far more? Without a doubt, we are a community of broken people. When the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth he described their former way of life as anti-social, harmful, and dangerous to themselves and others (1 Cor. 6:9–10). But in Jesus they were being transformed and made whole. And Paul encouraged these rescued people to love one another, to be patient and kind, not to be jealous or proud or rude (13:4–7).

The church is to be an ibasho where all of us, no matter what struggles or brokenness we face, can know and experience God’s love. May the hurting world experience the compassion of Christ from all who follow Him.

Dear Lord, thank You for paying the penalty for my sins by Your death and resurrection and giving me new life. Help me to live a life that honors Your holy name and to love others as You have loved me.

Only God can transform a sin-stained soul into a masterpiece of grace.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Unser Täglich Brot - Ein sicherer Hafen

Lesen: 1.Korinther 6,9-11; 13,4-7 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Jeremia 37–39; Hebräer 3

Solche sind einige von euch gewesen. Aber ihr seid reingewaschen, ihr seid geheiligt, ihr seid gerecht geworden durch den Namen des Herrn Jesus Christus und durch den Geist unseres Gottes. (1.Korinther 6,11)

Ein junger Japaner hatte ein Problem—er hatte Angst, das Haus zu verlassen. Um keinem Menschen zu begegnen, schlief er am Tag und verbrachte die Nacht mit fernsehen. Er war ein hikikomori, ein moderner Eremit. Das Problem begann, als er wegen seiner schlechten Noten aufhörte, in die Schule zu gehen. Je länger er sich von der Gesellschaft fernhielt, desto mehr fühlte er sich als Außenseiter. Mit der Zeit riss der Kontakt zur Familie und Freunden völlig ab. Was ihm wieder zurückhalf, war der Besuch eines Jugendclubs in Tokio, der als ibasho bekannt ist—als sicherer Ort, an dem gestrandete Menschen lernen können, sich wieder zu integrieren.

Was wäre, wenn wir die Gemeinde als ibasho sehen könnten—und als noch viel mehr? Zweifellos sind wir eine Gemeinschaft gestrandeter Menschen. In seinem Brief an die Gemeinde in Korinth hält Paulus ihr vor Augen, wie unsozial, schädlich und gefährlich (für sich und andere) sie früher waren (1.Kor. 6,9-10). Doch in Jesus wurden sie verändert und geheilt. Paulus ermuntert diese geretteten Menschen, einander zu lieben, geduldig und freundlich und nicht eifersüchtig, stolz oder grob zu sein (13,4-7).

Die Gemeinde sollte ein ibasho sein, wo jeder von uns—egal welches Problem wir haben—Gottes Liebe empfangen und erfahren kann. Damit eine kaputte Welt durch uns Jesu Barmherzigkeit erlebt.

Nur Gott kann aus einer von der Sünde befleckten Seele ein Meisterwerk der Gnade machen.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Тихое место

Читать сейчас: 1 Коринфянам 6:9-11; 13:4-7 | Библия за год: Иеремия 37-39; 1 Фессалоникийцам 4

И такими были некоторые из вас, но омылись, но освятились, но оправдались именем Господа нашего Иисуса Христа и Духом Бога нашего. — 1 Коринфянам 6:11

Молодой японец страдал от фобии: боялся выйти из дома. Избегая людей, он спал днем, а ночи проводил перед телевизором. Таких в Японии называют хикикомори, что значит отшельник. Проблема возникла, когда он перестал ходить в школу из-за плохих оценок. Чем дольше он отделялся от общества, тем больше чувствовал себя изгоем. В конце концов он разорвал все связи с друзьями и родственниками.

Помощь пришла из молодежного клуба в Токио, известного как ибашо – безопасное место, где «закомплексованные» люди вновь становятся частью общества.

Хотя церковь – это несравненно больше, чем какой-то клуб, ее можно сравнить с японским ибашо. Без сомнения, мы – общество сокрушенных людей. Обращаясь к христианам в Коринфе, апостол Павел описал их прежний образ жизни как противоестественный и вредный для окружающих и самих себя (1 Кор. 6:9-10). Но в Иисусе Христе они получили исцеление и новую жизнь. Теперь Павел побуждает их любить друг друга, быть терпеливыми и добрыми, не завидовать и не гордиться (1 Кор. 13:4-7).

Церковь должна быть безопасным местом, где все мы, независимо от имеющихся проблем, можем видеть и испытывать Божью любовь. Пусть страдающий мир узнает сострадание Христово через тех, кто следует за Ним.

Дорогой Господь, благодарю, что Ты заплатил за мои грехи Своей смертью и воскресением и даешь мне новую жизнь. Помоги мне прославлять Твое святое имя и любить других, как Ты возлюбил меня.

Только Бог может превратить запятнанную грехом жизнь в шедевр благодати.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ

Notre Pain Quotidien - En lieu sûr

Lisez : 1 Corinthiens 6.9‑11 ; 13.4‑7 | La Bible en un an : Jérémie 37 – 39 et Hébreux 3

[C’est] là ce que vous étiez [...] [mais] vous avez été lavés, [...] sanctifiés, [...] justifiés, au nom du Seigneur Jésus‑Christ, et par l’Esprit de notre Dieu. (1 Corinthiens 6:11)

Un jeune Japonais avait un problème : il redoutait de sortir de chez lui. Pour éviter de croiser des gens, il dormait le jour et passait la nuit devant la télévision. C’était un hikikomori, un ermite des temps modernes. Le problème est né lorsqu’il a cessé de fréquenter l’école à cause de ses mauvaises notes. Plus il passait de temps en marge de la société, plus il se sentait comme un paria. Il a fini par rompre toute communication avec ses amis et sa famille. Il a néanmoins obtenu de l’aide pour s’en sortir en se rendant dans un club de jeunes de Tokyo connu comme un ibasho, un lieu sûr où les gens brisés peuvent amorcer leur réinsertion sociale.

Et si nous percevions l’Église comme un ibasho, et bien plus encore ? L’Église est une communauté de gens brisés. En écrivant aux croyants de Corinthe, l’apôtre Paul a qualifié leur ancien mode de vie d’asocial, de nocif et de dangereux tant pour eux‑mêmes que pour les autres (1 CO 6.9,10). Ils ont néanmoins été transformés et guéris en Jésus. Par ailleurs, Paul a encouragé ces personnes secourues à s’aimer entre elles, en usant de patience et de douceur les unes envers les autres plutôt que de jalousie, d’orgueil et de dureté (13.4‑7).

L’Église doit être un ibasho où nous pouvons tous, quels que soient nos combats et nos déchirements, connaître et vivre l’amour de Dieu. Puisse le monde brisé goûter à la compassion de Christ par l’intermédiaire de ceux qui le suivent.

Dieu seul peut faire d’une âme souillée une chef‑d’oeuvre de grâce.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ