Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Someone Is Listening

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.

“[The righteous] are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.” Psalm 37:26

Be careful what you say in the presence of your babies. That’s the advice of a researcher at Johns Hopkins University, who tells us that children only eight months of age are capable of hearing and remembering words, good and bad. In a study by Dr. Peter Juscyzk, babies were exposed to three recorded stories for a period of about ten days. When they were tested in the lab two weeks later, they clearly recognized the words in the stories but failed to respond to those they hadn’t heard. According to Robin Chapman, a University of Wisconsin language specialist, the study demonstrates that very young children attend to the sounds of language and are able to pick out those that are familiar. Chapman concludes that “a lot of language learning is happening in the first year of life.”

Whether we like it or not, almost everything we say and do is observed and recorded—by the patrolman with a radar gun, by the convenience store video camera, and even by our young children. If our marriage models a spirit of generosity worth imitating, it will lead to blessings for everyone.

Just between us…
  • What are some of your earliest memories of your parents’ words and actions?
  • If we videotaped ourselves, would we be pleased by what we saw?
  • Besides each other, whom do we influence with our everyday words and deeds? Are we modeling a spirit of generosity for them?
Lord, we know that our every action has a tremendous impact on those around us, and we want to be mature, responsible and positive ambassadors for You. Help us glorify You in how we think, act, and speak. Amen.
  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Language research and comments from “Infants’ Memory for Spoken Words” by P. W. Juscyzk and E. A. Hohne (Science, 26 September 1997) and “Parents Beware: Little Ears Are Listening” by Rachel Ellis (Associated Press, http://www.ap.org/, 26 September 1997).

Standing Strong Through the Storm - FREEDOM IN FAITH

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

During an SSTS seminar in Central Asia, we listened to testimonies of the participants who were mostly from Muslim background. We asked how long they had been followers of Jesus. The majority answered, “Nine years.”

When we asked how they had become believers, they shared that there was a vicious religious civil war in their country nine years earlier. It had shown them the true colors of Islam and they turned to follow Jesus for the reasons listed below:

1. LOVE —  Jesus of the Bible teaches and exemplifies love and compassion.

2. WORSHIP —  They were attracted to the Christian love of singing and worshipping God with praise and joy!

3. FORGIVENESS —  Jesus shows how to forgive our enemies – feed them and give them water to drink.

4. JESUS’ LIFE —  Jesus’ teachings and His example are very attractive.

5. WOMEN —  Jesus holds women in high esteem.

6. FAITH —  Jesus claims to be the way, truth and life. Salvation in Christ is by faith alone. No works or rituals or rules can save us.

7. TRUTH —  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is “Good News” because He is the Truth. The Gospel is based on Truth.

8. LIBERTY —  Christian expression is based on freedom and liberty in Christ. The Bible teaches the basis for such liberty.

These eight positive principles are a powerful affirmation of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.

RESPONSE: Today I will appreciate the uniqueness of the Gospel and Jesus my Savior.

PRAYER: Pray today that many more Muslims may come to faith in Jesus and follow Him fully.

Girlfriends in God - God’s Got You

Today’s Truth

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort! (2 Corinthians 1:3).

Friend to Friend

Tears streamed down my face as I held our seven-year-old grandson, watching him sleep. “Mimi, please lay down with me. Let’s snuggle. I’m so cold,” he asked. I would do anything for this child. He has my heart.

The beeping machines recorded his heart rate, oxygen level … and other vital statistics that simply underscored how sick Justus was. His temperature had risen to 106 but now hovered around 104. The lymph glands in his neck continued to swell to the point that he could not turn his head or open his mouth. Test results confirmed the fact that he had a bacterial infection and a viral infection.

I heard him scream as they tried to draw blood. I held his head when he threw up after trying to take medicine he desperately needed but couldn’t swallow. Our daughter and son-in-law had been by his side day and night and were absolutely exhausted. The doctors kept running tests, trying to identify the specific bacteria causing the infection so they could target it with the right antibiotic.

He had been in the hospital for days … with no answer. The doctors said it was just a matter of time until they found that answer. I. Wanted. It. Now.

And I was angry. God and I had gone a few rounds about the whole situation.

Oh, I know and teach truly believe that trials and hard times are for our good. I am well acquainted with pain and darkness. It is one thing for me to battle the pit of depression or deal with physical pain every minute of every day, but it is a game changer to watch my seven-year-old grandson handle pain and darkness with courage and sheer grace.

I am in awe.

And I have learned a whole new level of faith in the midst of this kind of storm. I have knelt at His feet, learning how to fully – I mean wholly surrender someone I desperately love to the Father.

Trials and hard times are an important part of life because they break us. And the most beautiful life is the most broken life. I have a love-hate relationship with that truth. But this I know. God is forever covering each pain with His infinite love and mercy, bringing hope and encouragement where there was once only despair. We just have to remember who God really is – the God of all comfort and compassion.

Trouble strengthens our faith and builds endurance, the ability to stay under the load. We have a loving Father who is committed to building the character of His Son in us. His love wants what is best for us, not what is easiest.

Shallow love rescues easily and quickly.

Real love walks with us through the trial.

God wants us to trust Him in the trials of life, even when it makes no sense, and even when there seems to be no explanation.

Isaiah 55: 8-9 The Lord says, ‘My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like my ways. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’

It is easy to have faith and to trust God when the wind is still and the waters are calm. But the true measure of our faith is when we are in the midst of a howling storm, our boat is leaking, and there is no land in sight.

God’s comfort is most cherished when our pain is the strongest. The darker it gets, the brighter His light shines. We may be down, girlfriend, but we are never out, because God is the Shepherd of every valley, Lord of every storm, and Friend of the wounded heart.

When God pushes you to the edge, trust Him fully … because only two things can happen. Either He will catch you when you fall, or He will teach you how to fly. Either way, God’s got you.

Let’s Pray

Father, I am guilty of looking for the easiest way out of a painful circumstance instead of looking for Your hand at work. I want to become a woman of faith and learn to trust You enough to keep my gaze on You and my glance on my circumstances. And even when my faith is weak, please help me place that faith in You alone.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read James 1:2-3 My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.

Think back over the past month. What trials have you faced? What was your response to those trials? Has God strengthened you or taught you a lesson through your trials? In your journal, record what God has accomplished in your life and how He has strengthened your faith through the tough times you have experienced.

More from the Girlfriends

Storms are a reality of life. How can we face and weather each storm without drowning? In her MP3 download, Strength for the Storm, Mary shares fresh strategies for handling difficult times to help you:
  1. Control your fear of the unknown in order to enjoy life today.
  2. Choose a perspective of joy that will enable you to face each storm with strength and victory.
  3. Identify the purpose of storms so you can produce lasting, powerful changes in your life.
Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

Un Dia a la Vez - La puerta estrecha

Pero estrecha es la puerta y angosto el camino que conduce a la vida, y son pocos los que la encuentran. Mateo 7:14

Me llamó mucho la atención encontrar dentro de las cosas que Dios espera de nosotros algo que he escuchado, y hasta repetido: «¡Ah! Esa persona salió por la puerta grande». También se dice: «Quisiera salir por la puerta grande». Estas frases las usamos cuando queremos salir de un trabajo y quedar bien con todo el mundo. Cuando se va a cambiar de trabajo o de iglesia, a veces decimos: «Hay que dejar la puerta abierta», que también significa quedar bien con nuestros pastores, jefes o compañeros, ya que si algún día Dios nos lleva al mismo trabajo, estaremos preparados.

Al leer hoy este pasaje de la Biblia en Mateo, la puerta grande no se interpreta de la misma manera. Por el contrario, Dios dice que entremos por la puerta estrecha que nos lleva a la vida eterna, pues la puerta ancha, por ser más espaciosa, conduce a la perdición. En otras palabras, es más fácil perderse que guardarse.

Por eso debemos entender que aunque a veces el camino es difícil, angosto y hasta espinoso, si está bajo la voluntad de Dios, nos lleva a la bendición. Lo que es fácil, demasiado llamativo, tentador o sospechoso, no siempre está Dios de por medio. Recordemos que el enemigo nos pone a la vista cosas atractivas a fin de distraernos y apartarnos de la voluntad de nuestro Padre.

Verse of the Day - November 08, 2016

Joshua 24:15 (NIV) But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Read all of Joshua 24

The Daily Readings for November 8, 2016

Joel 2:21-27
Do not fear, O soil; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things! Do not fear, you animals of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and vine give their full yield. O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the LORD your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before. The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is no other. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Revelation 19:1-10
After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power to our God, for his judgments are true and just; he has judged the great whore who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants." Once more they said, "Hallelujah! The smoke goes up from her forever and ever." And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying, "Amen. Hallelujah!" And from the throne came a voice saying, "Praise our God, all you his servants, and all who fear him, small and great." Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying out, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready; to her it has been granted to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure"-- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are true words of God." Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

Luke 14:25-35
Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions. "Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; they throw it away. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!"

Morning Psalms

Psalm 78: Part I Attendite, popule
1   Hear my teaching, O my people; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2   I will open my mouth in a parable; I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
3   That which we have heard and known, and what our forefathers have told us, we will not hide from their children.
4   We will recount to generations to come the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the LORD, and the wonderful works he has done.
5   He gave his decrees to Jacob and established a law for Israel, which he commanded them to teach their children;
6   That the generations to come might know, and the children yet unborn; that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
7   So that they might put their trust in God, and not forget the deeds of God, but keep his commandments;
8   And not be like their forefathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9   The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow, turned back in the day of battle;
10   They did not keep the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;
11   They forgot what he had done, and the wonders he had shown them.
12   He worked marvels in the sight of their forefathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13   He split open the sea and let them pass through; he made the waters stand up like walls.
14   He led them with a cloud by day, and all the night through with a glow of fire.
15   He split the hard rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink as from the great deep.
16   He brought streams out of the cliff, and the waters gushed out like rivers.
17   But they went on sinning against him, rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
18   They tested God in their hearts, demanding food for their craving.
19   They railed against God and said, "Can God set a table in the wilderness?
20   True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out, and the gullies overflowed; but is he able to give bread or to provide meat for his people?"
21   When the LORD heard this, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob, and his anger mounted against Israel;
22   For they had no faith in God, nor did they put their trust in his saving power.
23   So he commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven.
24   He rained down manna upon them to eat and gave them grain from heaven.
25   So mortals ate the bread of angels; he provided for them food enough.
26   He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens and led out the south wind by his might.
27   He rained down flesh upon them like dust and wingéd birds like the sand of the sea.
28   He let it fall in the midst of their camp and round about their dwellings.
29   So they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved.
30   But they did not stop their craving, though the food was still in their mouths.
31   So God's anger mounted against them; he slew their strongest men and laid low the youth of Israel.
32   In spite of all this, they went on sinning and had no faith in his wonderful works.
33   So he brought their days to an end like a breath and their years in sudden terror.
34   Whenever he slew them, they would seek him, and repent, and diligently search for God.
35   They would remember that God was their rock, and the Most High God their redeemer.
36   But they flattered him with their mouths and lied to him with their tongues.
37   Their heart was not steadfast toward him, and they were not faithful to his covenant.
38   But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins and did not destroy them; many times he held back his anger and did not permit his wrath to be roused.
39   For he remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that goes forth and does not return.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 78: Part II Quoties exacerbaverunt
40   How often the people disobeyed him in the wilderness and offended him in the desert!
41   Again and again they tempted God and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42   They did not remember his power in the day when he ransomed them from the enemy;
43   How he wrought his signs in Egypt and his omens in the field of Zoan.
44   He turned their rivers into blood, so that they could not drink of their streams.
45   He sent swarms of flies among them, which ate them up, and frogs, which destroyed them.
46   He gave their crops to the caterpillar, the fruit of their toil to the locust.
47   He killed their vines with hail and their sycamores with frost.
48   He delivered their cattle to hailstones and their livestock to hot thunderbolts.
49   He poured out upon them his blazing anger: fury, indignation, and distress, a troop of destroying angels.
50   He gave full rein to his anger; he did not spare their souls from death; but delivered their lives to the plague.
51   He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, the flower of manhood in the dwellings of Ham.
52   He led out his people like sheep and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53   He led them to safety, and they were not afraid; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54   He brought them to his holy land, the mountain his right hand had won.
55   He drove out the Canaanites before them and apportioned an inheritance to them by lot; he made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
56   But they tested the Most High God, and defied him, and did not keep his commandments.
57   They turned away and were disloyal like their fathers; they were undependable like a warped bow.
58   They grieved him with their hill-altars they provoked his displeasure with their idols.
59   When God heard this, he was angry and utterly rejected Israel.
60   He forsook the shrine at Shiloh, the tabernacle where he had lived among his people.
61   He delivered the ark into captivity, his glory into the adversary's hand.
62   He gave his people to the sword and was angered against his inheritance.
63   The fire consumed their young men; there were no wedding songs for their maidens.
64   Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation.
65   Then the LORD woke as though from sleep, like a warrior refreshed with wine.
66   He struck his enemies on the backside and put them to perpetual shame.
67   He rejected the tent of Joseph and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68   He chose instead the tribe of Judah and Mount Zion, which he loved.
69   He built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven, like the earth which he founded for ever.
70   He chose David his servant, and took him away from the sheepfolds.
71   He brought him from following the ewes, to be a shepherd over Jacob his people and over Israel his inheritance.
72   So he shepherded them with a faithful and true heart and guided them with the skillfulness of his hands.

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 8, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Richelle Thompson

Luke 14:28-30 (NRSV) For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, “This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.”

Today voters across the United States will elect the next president. Would that the lectionary readings focused on the danger of boastful hearts, deceitful tongues, mudslinging, and fearmongering. But the lectionary leaves us with this gospel lesson from Luke.

Regardless of the outcome of today’s vote, we who are citizens of the United States must join the newly elected president in building a firm foundation. This begins with each of us laying aside personal disappointments if our candidate doesn’t win. It means refraining from mean-spirited social media posts about folks or candidates on the other side of our own feelings, and it requires that the winner resist the urge to gloat and to adopt a humble spirit. If those of us who live and work in the United States intend to build a land that God would be pleased with, we must build it together, on common ground.

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

Our Daily Bread - We Had No Idea

Read: Galatians 6:2–10 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 43–45; Hebrews 5

Carry each other’s burdens. Galatians 6:2

Volunteers from a local church spent a frigid evening distributing food to people in a low-income apartment complex. One woman who received the food was overjoyed. She showed them her bare cupboard and told them they were an answer to her prayers.

As the volunteers returned to the church, one woman began to cry. “When I was a little girl,” she said, “that lady was my Sunday school teacher. She’s in church every Sunday. We had no idea she was almost starving!”

Clearly, these were caring people who were seeking ways to carry the burdens of others, as Paul suggests in Galatians 6:2. Yet somehow they hadn’t noticed the needs of this woman—someone they saw every Sunday—and she hadn’t shared her needs. This can be a gentle reminder for all of us to be more aware of those around us and, as Paul said, to “do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (6:10).

People who worship together have the privilege of assisting one another so no one in the body of Christ goes without help. As we get to know each other and care for each other, perhaps we won’t ever have to say, “We had no idea.”

Dear Lord, help me to notice the needs of those around me and to do what I can to meet those needs in Your name.

Nothing costs as much as caring—except not caring.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - No teníamos ni idea

Leer: Gálatas 6:2-10 | La Biblia en un año: Hebreos 5

Sobrellevad los unos las cargas de los otros… (Gálatas 6:2).

Voluntarios de una iglesia pasaron una noche helada distribuyendo alimentos a personas de bajos ingresos en un edificio de apartamentos. Una mujer que recibió comida estaba exultante. Les mostró su aparador vacío y les dijo que ellos eran una respuesta a sus oraciones.

Mientras volvían a la iglesia, una mujer empezó a llorar, y dijo: «Cuando yo era niña, esa mujer fue mi maestra de escuela dominical. Va a la iglesia todos los domingos, ¡pero no teníamos idea de que estaba casi muriendo de hambre!».

Sin duda, estas personas se interesaban en los demás y buscaban formas de aligerar sus cargas, tal como señaló Pablo en Gálatas 6:2. Pero no se habían dado cuenta de las necesidades de esta mujer, a quien veían todos los domingos, y ella no había dicho nada al respecto. Este podría ser un recordatorio para que todos tomemos consciencia de los que nos rodean y que «hagamos bien a todos, y mayormente a los de la familia de la fe» (6:10).

Las personas que se reúnen para adorar juntas tienen el privilegio de ayudarse unas a otras para que ningún miembro del cuerpo de Cristo padezca necesidades. Si nos ocupamos de conocernos y nos interesamos por los demás, quizá nunca tengamos que decir: «No teníamos ni idea».

Señor, ayúdame a ver las necesidades de los demás y a suplirlas.

Nada cuesta tanto como interesarse… excepto no interesarse.

© 2016 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Wir hatten keine Ahnung

Lesen: Galater 6,2-10 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Jeremia 43–45; Hebräer 5

Einer trage des andern Last. Galater 6,2

Freiwillige einer örtlichen Gemeinde verbrachten einen kühlen Abend damit, Menschen in einem heruntergekommenen Wohnblock Essen zu bringen. Eine der Empfängerinnen war überglücklich. Sie zeigte ihnen ihren leeren Schrank und sagte, sie seien eine regelrechte Gebetserhörung.

Zurück in der Gemeinde, fing eine der Helferinnen an zu weinen. „Als ich ein Kind war“, sagte sie, „bin ich bei dieser Frau in die Sonntagsschule gegangen. Sie kommt jeden Sonntag in den Gottesdienst. Wir hatten ja keine Ahnung, dass sie fast am Verhungern war!“

Die Essensverteiler waren ganz offensichtlich Menschen, die anderen helfen wollten, ihre Last zu tragen, wie Paulus uns in Galater 6,2 auffordert. Aber irgendwie hatten sie die Not dieser Frau übersehen—einer Frau, die sie jeden Sonntag sahen—und sie hatte nichts gesagt. Das kann für uns alle eine Mahnung sein, mehr darauf zu achten, was um uns herum vorgeht, und „Gutes [zu] tun an jedermann, allermeist aber an des Glaubens Genossen“ (6,10), wie Paulus sagt.

Menschen, die miteinander Gott anbeten, haben das Vorrecht, einander helfen zu dürfen, damit niemand ohne Hilfe bleibt. Wenn wir einander besser kennen und aufeinander achten, muss vielleicht keiner mehr sagen: „Wir hatten ja keine Ahnung!“

Lieber Herr, lass mich die Not der Menschen um mich herum sehen und in deinem Namen tun, was in meinen Kräften steht.

Nichts kostet so viel wie einander zu helfen—außer nicht zu helfen.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Без понятия

Читать сейчас: Галатам 6:2-10 | Библия за год: Иеремия 43-45; 2 Фессалоникийцам 1

Носите бремена друг друга, и таким образом исполните закон Христов. — Галатам 6:2

Холодным вечером добровольцы из поместной церкви раздавали продуктовые наборы малоимущим в многоквартирных домах. Одна пожилая женщина, получив продукты, просияла от радости. Указав на пустые полки, она сказала, что их приход – это ответ на ее молитвы.

Когда команда вернулась в церковь, одна из участниц расплакалась. «Когда я была девочкой, – сказала она, – эта женщина преподавала в моем классе воскресной школы. Она приходит в церковь каждое воскресенье. Мы понятия не имели, что она голодает!»

Вот так. С одной стороны, эти люди хотели помочь нуждающимся, понести их бремя, как пишет Павел в Послании к галатам 6:2. И тем не менее они не заметили нужду этой женщины, которую видели каждое воскресенье, а она ничего никому не говорила. Этот случай может послужить напоминанием о том, как важно уделять внимание окружающим и, как сказал апостол, «делать добро всем, а особенно своим по вере» (Гал. 6:10).

Люди, вместе славящие Бога, имеют благословенную возможность помогать друг другу, чтобы никто в теле Христовом не оказался без поддержки. Ближе знакомясь друг с другом и проявляя заботу, мы не сможем впоследствии сказать: «Мы не имели понятия».

Дорогой Господь, помоги мне замечать нужды окружающих и делать то, что могу, чтобы помочь во имя Твое.

Ничто не стоит дороже искренней заботы, разве что равнодушие.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ

Notre Pain Quotidien - Nous n’en avions aucune idée

Lisez : Galates 6.2‑10 | La Bible en un an : Jérémie 43 – 45 et Hébreux 5

Portez les fardeaux les uns des autres. (Galates 6.2)

Des bénévoles d’une Église locale ont passé une soirée glaciale à distribuer des denrées alimentaires aux locataires d’un HLM. Ravie d’avoir reçu de la nourriture, une femme leur a montré ses armoires vides en précisant que leur venue était une réponse à ses prières.

Sur le chemin du retour à l’Église, une des bénévoles s’est mise à pleurer en racontant : « Quand j’étais petite, cette femme était mon professeur de l’école du dimanche. Elle est à l’église tous les dimanches, et nous n’avions pas la moindre idée qu’elle mourait de faim ! »

De toute évidence, c’étaient des gens bienveillants qui cherchaient des moyens de porter les fardeaux les uns des autres, comme Paul le suggère dans Galates 6.2. Pourtant, ils n’avaient pas remarqué les besoins de cette femme, qu’ils voyaient tous les dimanches, et elle n’avait pas fait connaître ses besoins. Or, cela peut nous servir à tous de doux rappel de la nécessité de prendre plus conscience de la réalité de ceux de notre entourage et, comme Paul l’a dit, de « [pratiquer] le bien envers tous, et surtout envers les frères en la foi » (6.10).

Les gens qui adorent Dieu ensemble ont le privilège de se porter secours les uns aux autres de sorte que personne dans le corps de Christ ne soit laissé à lui‑même. En apprenant à nous connaître les uns les autres et à prendre soin les uns des autres, peut‑être n’aurons‑nous jamais à dire un jour : « Nous n’en avions aucune idée. »

Rien ne coûte plus que se soucier d’autrui, sauf ne pas s’en soucier.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ