Sunday, November 13, 2016

Standing Strong Through the Storm - IT IS HARDER TO LIVE FOR JESUS

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me…” Matthew 16:24

Jesus’ first call to those interested in Him was “Come and see!” (John 1:39). As His disciples spent more time with Him, Jesus’ call became more demanding and required more commitment.

Here He calls those who would be His disciples to make the ultimate sacrifice and “Come and die!”

Jesus was the last person Sundar Singh was looking for as a late teenager in India at the turn of the 20th Century. After all, Jesus was the “foreign god” of the Christian teachers at his school. A zealous Sikh, Sundar had publicly torn up a portion of the Bible to protest its claims. One night as he prayed he became conscious of a light shining in the room. He looked outside to make sure it was not someone shining a light. Gradually the light took the form of a globe of fire and in it he saw the face of Jesus. Sundar threw himself on the ground and surrendered His life to Jesus.

The following months proved to be very difficult for Sundar and his family. Becoming a follower of Christ was not taken lightly by his family nor his community. He was excommunicated. He cut his hair, a gesture that did not make things any easier with his family who were convinced he had renounced his Sikh heritage.

A month after he was baptized in the year 1905, he took the vow of a sadhu. He gave away his meagre possessions, put on a saffron robe and became a barefooted wandering man of God. Among Christians the world over, this barefoot Sadhu was later called the “apostle of the bleeding feet” because the soles of his feet were often covered in bloody blisters. The life of a sadhu is hard and entirely dependent on God. Sadhu Sundar Singh’s needs were met entirely through the kindness of people he met wherever he went.

Sundar Singh is credited as the first missionary to cross the Himalayan Mountains to take the gospel to Nepal and Tibet. At thirty-six-years-of-age he made his last trip over the mountains. He never returned and is assumed to have been a martyr for Jesus.

In his diary left behind he had written, “It is easy to die for Christ. It is hard to live for Him. Dying takes only a few minutes—or at worst an hour or two—but to live for Christ means to die daily to myself.”

RESPONSE: Today I will do the “hard” thing: die to myself and live for Jesus and others who need His love.

PRAYER: Help me Lord to live worthy of the calling as Your disciple. Show me the cross You want me to carry today.

Un Dia a la Vez - Apunta hacia la excelencia

Consideren bien todo lo verdadero, todo lo respetable, todo lo justo, todo lo puro, todo lo amable [...] todo lo que sea excelente o merezca elogio. Filipenses 4:8

Estamos casi a las puertas del último día del año. Así que es muy importante que todo lo que Dios nos mostró en estas pequeñas meditaciones diarias las empecemos a poner en práctica. De esa manera no solo llegaremos a tener éxito en la iglesia, sino en todo lo que emprendamos en la vida.

Procuremos siempre modelar a Jesús para que nos vaya bien en las cosas que emprendamos. Que siempre esté delante de nosotros la sinceridad, la honestidad, la transparencia, la humildad, la integridad y la verdad. Aunque a los demás les moleste esto de ti, recuerda que servimos a un Dios bueno e íntegro y Él espera lo mejor de nosotros.

No importa cuál sea tu trabajo, hazlo de buena gana. Sé que a veces nos ha tocado hacer cosas que nunca nos imaginamos, sobre todo en este país, y eso nos puede frustrar. Sin embargo, nosotros debemos ver las cosas diferentes. Así que piensa que esto que haces hoy es pasajero y que Dios tiene un mejor futuro para ti.

Verse of the Day - November 13, 2016

1 Peter 2:15-16 (NIV) For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

Read all of 1 Peter 2

The Sunday Readings for November 13, 2016 - 26th Sunday after Pentecost

First Reading
from the Old Testament

See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. (Malachi 4:1-2, NRSV)

This is the Word of the Lord


Psalm 98 Cantate Domino
1   Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things.
2   With his right hand and his holy arm has he won for himself the victory.
3   The LORD has made known his victory; his righteousness has he openly shown in the sight of the nations.
4   He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
5   Shout with joy to the LORD, all you lands; lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing.
6   Sing to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the voice of song.
7   With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout with joy before the King, the LORD.
8   Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it, the lands and those who dwell therein.
9   Let the rivers clap their hands, and let the hills ring out with joy before the LORD, when he comes to judge the earth.
10   In righteousness shall he judge the world and the peoples with equity.

Second Reading
from the Epistles

Now we command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, and we did not eat anyone's bread without paying for it; but with toil and labor we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you. This was not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right. (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13, NRSV)

This is the Word 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 end of Time?? Fear? Hopefulness!! - Sunday Sermon for November 6, 2016 - 26th Sunday after Pentecost

The end of Time?? Fear? Hopefulness!!

The Holy Gospel
according to St Luke, the 21st Chapter

Glory to You, O Lord

When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, "As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down." They asked him, "Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?" And he said, "Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and, 'The time is near!' Do not go after them. "When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven. "But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls. (Luke 21:5-19, NRSV)

This is the Gospel of the Lord

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Savior, Jesus who is the Christ.

The end of Time?? Fear? Hopefulness!!

This text from Luke’s gospel can either garner in us fear, or gladness and hope. Fear about the end of time, or gladness that we who believe will be with Christ will be with Christ at the end of time.

An example of fear:

" A number of years ago, leaders in a church decided to track down the congregation’s dropouts. They combed through the membership list, put together a list of names, and sent out volunteers two-by-two to knock on doors and invite the absent members back to church.

As is often the case, the volunteer visitors discovered that most of the people visited had found other things to do on Sunday morning. One person said, "I would come back to church if it didn’t conflict with my tennis time." Another said, "We came to church when our kids were involved. When they outgrew Sunday School, we stopped going." Another said, "I enjoy going to church on the really big days, like Christmas, Easter, and the Fourth of July. Compared to those days, other services are a little bit dull."

One response was different. Two volunteers named Jack and Esther went to see a man whom nobody knew. He lived on the end of the street, in a big house behind three overgrown pine trees. It took the volunteers a few minutes to find the front door. All the curtains were drawn. It looked like nobody was home. Suddenly the door swung open, and a thin man with a shock of white hair said, "My name’s Tarnower.

What do you want?" They said, "We’re from the church. We stopped by to see you." He invited them in. They explained why they had come.

In a few minutes, he was shaking a bony finger at them. "I’ll tell you why I don’t go to church anymore. It’s because I got in the habit of reading the Sunday Times before I went to the worship service."

Esther leaned forward. "Tell us," she said warmly, "how did the newspaper keep you from coming to church? Did you get caught up in the sports section and lose track of time? Or the comics?"

Mr. Tarnower looked at her with wild eyes. "No," he said, "I read the news. It’s an awful world out there. There are a lot of diseases I don’t understand. Wars break out. Families fall apart. Children run through the streets with handguns. People die prematurely. Listen, the world is falling apart, and the church can’t do a thing about it."

"Well," Jack said, "you ought to come back. We have a nice minister, a fairly good choir, and a Bible study on Wednesday nights. You might enjoy our program."

"No," Mr. Tarnower said, "I don’t think so. I get out for groceries, but that’s all I want to face. I went to church for a while, but the world got worse. When my wife died, I decided to sit in here, watch everything fall apart, and wait my turn. I don’t go to church anymore. The church has nothing to say."

In this day and age of terrorist attacks, of planes falling out of the sky, of not knowing what the future may be, we might fear, we might just sit back and wait. Wait for our time as folks say. Wait for the end of the world, wait for the end of our lives, wait! wait!

An example of hope:

One of my favorite movies was The Poseidon Adventure (1972). You remember a cruise ship was turned upside down by a big wave. Everything was turned upside down. Reality was turned "upside down". The way out is up to the bottom/back to the front. The survivors had to go to the bottom of the boat which was now the top to get out. A whole bunch were not willing to follow the lead of the pastor to crawl up that Christmas tree out of the ballroom, to safety. He said: "Everybody is dead who was above us when the ship turned over. Now they’re underneath us. It’s up to us to get out of here."

The people who waited for help drown, but those who were willing to risk, to have faith eventually were saved. Not all, but most. The pastor was indeed the Christ figure for those people. They eventually trusted in him and were saved.

So for us in this end of time. Jesus says: "But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives."

By your endurance you will gain your lives. By your faith in me you will be free. The world may be falling apart around you, but having faith in me will save you.

We live in a broken world. We live in a world where there is suffering, pain and sorrow. And when this comes to an end, there will be Christ.

There is no need for us to be afraid! Christian people have nothing to fear about the end of time. Christian people have nothing to fear about death or the end of the world. In our suffering and pain, we have nothing to fear. We will not be immune to the pain of this world. Christians are not set apart from the world, but experience all the harsh realities of this world.

Someone said: Whatever the future may hold, God can be trusted to see you through. In the meantime, demonstrate your faith and faithfulness by doing whatever it is God is calling you to do."

Live for today, hope for tomorrow and rest on the promise that Christ is coming in His due time.

"I have with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of walking, that is, of taking walks who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering. "

Henry David Thoreau wrote these words because he was concerned, more than a century ago, that American were so busy making a living that they didn’t know how to enjoy life.

As we live out our days and await eternity—whenever It may come— why not spend every day trying to experience in some way the joy of living, no matter how many days we may have to live? Let’s ask ourselves: How is it with sauntering—with the joy of living —in our time? In our place? Perhaps we need to slow down and keep moving.

Perhaps we can take time to really get In touch with God’s world, with our neighbors, with ourselves. Maybe that is worth working at.

Hope for the future, hope for today is worth living for. Making each day count even if it is just sauntering. For we cannot fear the future because that is in God’s hands, we cannot fear today because that is in God’s hands, too. So live for the moment and wait. Wait for the coming not with fear, but with hope. We wait planning our lives, living our lives, hoping our lives will mean something to those around us.

The closing story sums up for me how we should live life.

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents’ bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled. I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate’s treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window.

When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank. Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.

Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully. 

"Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son.You’re going to do better than me. This old mill town’s not going to hold you back."

Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly.

"These are for my son’s college fund. He’ll never work at the mill all his life like me."

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. "When we get home, we’ll start filling the jar again." He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other.

"You’ll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters," he said. "But you’ll get there. I’ll see to that."

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town.

Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been removed. A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done.

When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me. No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar.

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make away out for me. "When you finish college, Son," he told me, his eyes glistening, "You’ll never have to eat beans again...unless you want to."

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad’s arms. "She probably needs to be changed," she said, carrying the baby into my parents’ bedroom to diaper her.

When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes. She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the room.

"Look," she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser.

To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins.

With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt.

Neither one of us could speak.

(Author unknown)

A pickle jar was and is a symbol of hope in their world.

Where is your pickle jar??


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 by Pastor Tim Zingale November 12, 2001.

The Daily Meditation for Sunday, November 13, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Richelle Thompson

Isaiah 65:20a (NRSV) No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime.

How we yearn for this day that Isaiah seeks. Would that we could say at each funeral that the person lived a long and fulsome life, untouched by debilitating illness or dementia, able to serve and love until the final breath.

Instead sometimes we buckle under the weight of sorrow, struggling to see God’s hand in a life cut short, a death come too soon.

I pray for this new Jerusalem when I remember baby Hannah—beloved from conception. Our friends chronicled every milestone of their first pregnancy, sharing ultrasound pictures and the hump of a protruding foot. Hannah flipped and wiggled until the winter day she stopped, and our friend delivered a thirty-two week, perfectly formed stillborn baby.

No words of comfort could soothe the ache our friends felt in those early days, but they held on to faith, to the promise of reuniting again one day in this new Jerusalem, a city of heaven.

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 - Pay Close Attention

Read: Nehemiah 8:2–6; Acts 8:4–8 | Bible in a Year: Lamentations 1–2; Hebrews 10:1–18

All the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.  Nehemiah 8:3

As I sat in the auditorium, I faced the pastor with my eyes fixed on him. My posture suggested I was absorbing everything he was saying. Suddenly I heard everybody laughing and clapping. Surprised, I looked about. The preacher had apparently said something humorous, but I had no clue what it might have been. From all appearances I had been listening carefully, but in reality my mind was far away.

It’s possible to hear what is being said but not listen, to watch but not see, to be present and yet absent. In such a condition, we may miss important messages meant for us.

As Ezra read God’s instructions to the people of Judah, “All the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law” (Neh. 8:3). Their attention to the explanation produced understanding (v. 8), which resulted in their repentance and revival. In another situation in Samaria, Philip, after persecution of the believers broke out in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1), reached out to the Samaritan people. The crowd not only observed the miraculous signs he did, but they also “paid close attention to what he said” (v. 6). “So there was great joy in that city” (v. 8).

The mind can be like a wandering adventurer that misses a lot of excitement close by. Nothing deserves more attention than words that help us discover the joy and wonder of our Father in heaven.

Lord, our minds are so prone to distraction. Help us to be present in the moment, especially when listening to those who instruct us in Your ways.

The receiving of the Word consists in two parts: attention of the mind and intention of the will.
William Ames

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Presta mucha atención

Leer: Neh. 8:2-6; Hch. 8:4-8 | La Biblia en un año: Hebreos 10:1-18

… los oídos de todo el pueblo estaban atentos al libro de la ley (Nehemías 8:3).

Sentado en el auditorio, miraba fijamente al pastor. Mi postura sugería que estaba absorbiendo todo lo que decía. De pronto, escuché que todos se reían y aplaudían, y quedé sorprendido. Aparentemente, el pastor había dicho algo cómico, pero yo no tenía idea de qué era. Aunque parecía que estaba escuchando atentamente, mi mente estaba en otra parte.

Es posible oír lo que se dice, pero sin escuchar, mirar sin ver, estar presente aunque ausente. Así, podemos perdernos mensajes destinados a nosotros.

Cuando Esdras leyó las instrucciones de Dios al pueblo de Judá, «los oídos de todo el pueblo estaban atentos al libro de la ley» (Nehemías 8:3). Esa atención hizo que entendieran (v. 8), lo que los llevó al arrepentimiento y el avivamiento. Siglos después, en Samaria, tras la persecución de los creyentes en Jerusalén (Hechos 8:1), Felipe llegó a esa región, donde la gente no solo observó sus milagros, sino que «escuchaba atentamente las cosas que decía» (v. 6), «así que había gran gozo en aquella ciudad» (v. 8).

La mente puede divagar y perderse gran parte de la emoción que la rodea. Nada merece más atención que aquello que nos ayuda a descubrir el gozo y la maravilla de nuestro Padre celestial.

Señor, quiero prestar atención a todos lo que me instruyen en tus caminos.

«Recibir la Palabra implica dos aspectos: atención de la mente e intención de la voluntad». William Ames

© 2016 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Pass gut auf

Lesen: Nehemia 8,2-6; Apg. 8,4-8 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Klagelieder 1–2; Hebräer 10,1-18

Die Ohren des ganzen Volks waren dem Gesetzbuch zugekehrt. (Nehemia 8,3)

Ich hatte den Blick fest auf den Pastor gerichtet und man hätte meinen können, dass ich alles, was er sagte, tief in mich aufnahm. Plötzlich fingen alle an zu lachen und zu klatschen. Überrascht sah ich auf. Anscheinend hatte der Prediger etwas Lustiges gesagt, aber ich hatte nichts davon mitbekommen. Äußerlich hatte es so gewirkt, als würde ich aufmerksam zuhören, aber tatsächlich war ich mit den Gedanken ganz woanders gewesen.

Wir können hören und doch nichts mitbekommen. Wir können schauen und doch nicht sehen; anwesend und doch abwesend sein. Und dabei Wichtiges verpassen.

Als Esra dem Volk Israel Gottes Anweisungen vorlas, waren „die Ohren des ganzen Volkes dem Gesetzbuch zugekehrt“ (Neh. 8,3). Aus ihrer Aufmerksamkeit wuchs Verständnis (V.8), das zu Umkehr und Erweckung führte. Bei einer anderen Gelegenheit sprach Philippus, nachdem es unter den Gläubigen in Jerusalem zu Verfolgung gekommen war (Apg. 8,1), zu den Leuten in Samaria. Das Volk sah nicht nur die Wunder, die er tat, sondern „neigte einmütig dem zu, was Philippus sagte“ (V.6). „Und es entstand große Freude in dieser Stadt“ (V.8).

Unsere Gedanken können in die Ferne schweifen und dabei die interessanten Dinge verpassen, die in der Nähe vorgehen. Nichts verdient mehr Aufmerksamkeit als Worte, die uns helfen, die Freude und das Staunen über unseren Vater im Himmel zu entdecken.

Herr, unsere Gedanken lassen sich so gern ablenken. Hilf uns, ganz im Hier und Jetzt zu sein, vor allem wenn es darum geht zu hören, was andere von dir sagen.

Zum Empfang des Wortes gehört zweierlei: Aufmerksamkeit zum Hören und Bereitschaft zum Tun. William Ames

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Повнимательнее

Читать сейчас: Неемия 8:2-6; Деяния 8:4-8 | Библия за год: Плач Иеремии 1-2; 1 Тимофею 3

Уши всего народа были приклонены к книге закона. — Неемия 8:3

Сидя в зале, я не отводя глаз смотрел на пастора. Весь мой вид выражал усиленное внимание, я словно впитывал каждое слово. И вдруг все дружно засмеялись. Кроме меня. Оказывается, проповедник сказал что-то смешное, а я даже малейшего понятия не имел, что это могло быть. Внешне я был воплощением внимательности, но в действительности мои мысли витали где-то в облаках.

Можно слушать и не слышать, смотреть и не видеть, присутствуя телом, отсутствовать мыслями. В таком состоянии мы можем упустить много важного.

Когда Ездра читал Божьи повеления собравшимся в Иерусалиме людям, «уши всего народа были приклонены к книге закона» (Неем. 8:3). Внимательное отношение к толкованию приводило к пониманию (Неем. 8:8), а это, в свою очередь, вылилось в покаяние и духовное возрождение страны. Много лет спустя, придя в Самарию после гонения, устроенного на учеников в Иерусалиме (Деян. 8:1), Филипп обратился с проповедью к местным жителям. Народ не только дивился чудесам, которые Бог творил через него, но и «единодушно внимал тому, что говорил Филипп... И была радость великая в том городе» (Деян. 8:6, 8).

Ум бывает похож на заблудившегося путешественника, не замечающего многих красот мира. В духовной области ничто не заслуживает большего внимания, чем слова, помогающие обрести радость познания Небесного Отца.

Господи, наш разум склонен отвлекаться. Помоги нам быть внимательными, особенно слушая тех, кто учит нас Твоим путям.

«Принятие Слова состоит из двух частей: внимания разума и решения воли». — Уильям Эймс

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Soyez attentif

Lisez : Néhémie 8 | La Bible en un an : Lamentations 1 – 2 et Hébreux 10.1‑18

Tout le peuple fut attentif à la lecture du livre de la loi. (Néhémie 8.3)

Je me suis assis dans l’auditorium face au pasteur. Arborant un regard et une posture qui suggéraient que je buvais ses paroles, j’ai soudain entendu tout le monde éclater de rire et applaudir. Surpris, j’ai regardé autour de moi. Le prédicateur venait manifestement de lancer un trait d’humour, mais j’ignorais ce qu’il avait pu dire. Selon toute apparence, je tendais l’oreille, mais en réalité, j’avais l’esprit à mille lieues de là.

Il est donc possible d’entendre sans écouter, de regarder sans voir et d’être présent de corps, mais absent d’esprit. Le cas échéant, un message s’appliquant à nous risque ainsi de nous échapper.

Tandis qu’Esdras lisait les directives de Dieu au peuple de Juda, « [tout] le peuple fut attentif à la lecture du livre de la loi » (NÉ 8.3). L’attention que les Juifs accordaient à ses explications leur a valu de les comprendre (V. 8), ce qui les a conduits à la repentance et au renouveau de leur foi. Lors d’une autre situation survenue en Samarie après que la persécution des chrétiens a éclaté à Jérusalem (AC 8.1), Philippe s’est mis à évangéliser les Samaritains. Or, les foules ont non seulement observé ses miracles, mais encore elles « étaient attentives à ce que disait Philippe » (V. 6), causant ainsi « une grande joie dans cette ville » (V. 8).

L’esprit est un aventurier à qui échappent parfois beaucoup de joies environnantes. Or, rien n’est plus digne d’attention que les paroles faisant découvrir la merveilleuse joie de notre Père céleste.

L’accueil de la Parole exige attention et intention. William Ames

© 2016 Ministères NPQ